September 05, 2019

Hollowed-Out Pentagon Begins to Staff Up

Featuring Jim Townsend

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist Lara Seligman

After more than seven months without a confirmed leader, the Pentagon is slowly but surely beginning to rebuild its senior ranks under new Defense Secretary Mark Esper, but persistent gaps in staffing at lower levels of the department could continue to hamper policymaking.

In July, 19 of the most senior Pentagon roles, including the top three positions, were vacant or filled by temporary officials. As of Sept. 5, officials confirm to Foreign Policy that the number of vacant Senate-confirmed positions is down to 14, and Esper is pushing to close the remaining gap in the next few months.

Read the full article and more in Foreign Policy.


  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...