Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Panetta’s First Mission: “Slenderize” Pentagon

WHO:Dr. Gordon Adams, a professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at American University’s School of International Service, is a former associate director for national security and international affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (1993-1997) where he worked with then Clinton White House Chief of Staff Panetta. Adams was responsible for the oversight of all U.S. foreign affairs and national security budgeting including the Department of Defense.  Adams has published widely on defense and national security policy, the defense policy process, and national security budgets.

WHAT:             Available for television, print, and radio interviews                                                                

WHEN:             May 6 – ongoing

WHERE:           American University, in-studio or via telephone.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 6)  Dr. Gordon Adams, a professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at American University’s School of International Service, is a former associate director for national security and international affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (1993-1997), where he was responsible for oversight over all U.S. foreign affairs and national security budgeting including the Department of Defense and intelligence community.  Adams worked closely with Panetta in the Clinton White House during Panetta’s tenure as chief of staff.  Adams says Panetta “knows how to draw a line, he knows how to hang tough, he knows when to concede and he knows when to close a deal.” Adams witnessed first-hand Panetta cutting omnibus deals with the then majority Republican congress at the wee hours of the morning.

 

In his latest published op-ed, Panetta’s challenge: Slimming down the Pentagon, in today’s edition of the Washington Post, Adams argues:

 

-           “The defense budget could actually be cut by $1 trillion or 15% below the current projections over the next decade . . .  .” 

-           “The build-down provides the new Pentagon leadership with an opportunity to rethink US military strategy and missions, bring discipline to Pentagon planning and budgeting, and put in place a leaner, but significantly more efficient military . . .  .”

-          “Everything the government does, the Defense Department does– education, health care, stockpiles, real estate management, pensions, etc..  Shrinking this “back office” work  and the number of people doing it would reduce overhead.”

-           “Panetta will need to go further than Gates has in trying to raise health insurance rates for younger [military] retirees, who are paying a tenth of what the average American family pays for health insurance.  We should also look at less expensive ways to retain skilled personnel than providing everyone with the same pay raise; more efficiencies in health care; and retirement system reform.”

-          “Hardware programs also need tough love.  We should buy things that are needed for priority missions and that are meeting their performance and budget targets.”

 

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.