Bob Novak has a rather vitriolic piece entitled, Rumsfeld taking no prisoners in Army power grab. The bizarre thing about this argument, and Novak is hardly alone in making it, is that this is what a SECDEF is supposed to do. The whole point of having an appointed civilian come in for a few years is to check the impulses of the military bureaucracy. If we just wanted to have the generals and admirals run the show, since they obviously know more about the military, then we could eliminate the entire Office of Secretary of Defense. Then, presumably, we’d be making the same sorts of arguments against Presidents who tried to check the impulses of the military.

(Hat tip: RealClear Politics)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MommaBear says:

    NO CEO can function with underlings who work to undermine his/her authority; that’s why the CEO is held accountable for the actions of all subordinates.

    Looks like an NSS to MB.