Defense Subcabinet Taking Shape

New Department of Defense posts announced:

  • For Deputy Secretary of Defense, William J. Lynn III, who was DOD comproller from 1997-2001 and whose canned bio opens with the intriguing pitch that he “brings decades of experience and expertise in reforming government spending and making the tough choices necessary to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely.” Right now he’s working in government relations for Raytheon and he has background in Ted Kennedy’s office.
  • For Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Michèle Flournoy, co-founder of the Center for a New American Security, is a person whose ever-increasing prominence will cause more and more of us to familiarize ourselves with the keyboard combination necessary to create the accent grave. The future first woman Secretary of Defense, Flournoy held a variety of DOD positions in the 1990s, then was at CSIS for a while before founding CNAS which has been impressively successful.
  • I know nothing about Robert F. Hale, our new Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), other than that he was Comptroller for the Air Force during the Clinton years and thus will perhaps sympathize with the Air Force’s war on blogs.
  • Jeh Charles Johnson will be General Counsel, having previously served as General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force.

None of this is really shocking, but the failure of Richard Danzig to land either the Deputy Secretary or the Undersecretary (Policy) job continues a trend in which those national security hands who got on board the Obama train early are not being rewarded for their trouble. I’m fairly certain Flournoy is now the highest-ranking woman ever in the civilian Pentagon hierarchy.