But Mr. Coburn said the problems went beyond bad program funding choices.We seem to have 698 of these types knocking around, doing a little physical training, giving each other briefings, signing new orders. When not sending voluminous emails to female admirers, some of them clearly do not have enough to do:
He said the military now has more generals and admirals per troop than it did at the height of the Cold War. He recommended cutting 200 generals and admirals, which he said would also cut 800 support personnel, for a savings of $800 million over the next decade.
On Jan. 16, two days after a killer earthquake hit Haiti, a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command (responsible for overseeing American security interests in the Middle East), arrived at the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue.Good to see elements of Congress interested in oversight. If you haven't served, you haven't experienced the depth of this problem and will tend to give the benefit of the doubt. Feel free to doubt and doubt big.
The January Mullen briefing was unprecedented. No previous CENTCOM commander had ever expressed himself on what is essentially a political issue; which is why the briefers were careful to tell Mullen that their conclusions followed from a December 2009 tour of the region where, on Petraeus's instructions, they spoke to senior Arab leaders. "Everywhere they went, the message was pretty humbling," a Pentagon officer familiar with the briefing says. "America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding." But Petraeus wasn't finished: two days after the Mullen briefing, Petraeus sent a paper to the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza (which, with Israel, is a part of the European Command -- or EUCOM), be made a part of his area of operations.