Pentagon slashing needs to go to its heart

The debate over cuts in the Pentagon is almost comical. America’s empire footprint remains massive and there are no serious plans to reduce Washington’s meddling in the Middle East or beyond.

That’s what matters in the end and how the world views the super-power. More than a few generals need to be axed. It’s a mindset that requires change:

Raymond F. DuBois, a defense official during the George W. Bush administration, said he would advise Gates to take a methodical approach by targeting 20 percent of all four-star commanders and reclassifying their jobs as three-star generals and admirals. Then he would take 20 percent of the three-star officers and take them down to two stars, and keep doing the same until the ranks are flattened out. “Start with the top, don’t start with the bottom,” he said.

But DuBois added that he would be reluctant to cut many one-star jobs, which he said are necessary to keep as career incentives for ambitious colonels and captains.

“In a military that needs to retain its best and brightest,” said DuBois, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “it is an enormously important retention factor.”

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