February 16, 2009

The Next Secretary of the Army: What Not to Look For

I keep hearing rumors Arnold Punaro is going to be named the next Secretary of the Army. Not that my opinion matters, but I am not cool with that. Why? Well, how about the fact that his current employer is responsible for approximately 50% of the contracts for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) and that Punaro's job responsibilities include lobbying on behalf of that particular weapons system -- which is über-controversial in defense policy circles.

Now I understand that the Washington system means that qualified public servants and good men like Mr. Punaro go back and forth between government service and private enterprise. I get that. But the stakes here are simply too high. Budgetary decisions on FCS are going to be some of the toughest decisions the next Secretary of the Army will have to make, and it's unfair to ask Mr. Punaro to make them.

All of this, of course, strengthens my own case to be the next Secretary of the Army. After all, unlike, Mr. Punaro, I was actually in the Army. (He was in the Marines.) And I can prove my lack of any ties to the defense industry by my, uh, lack of, uh, money. And I could use the benefits, honestly.