Monday, October 11, 2004

Anyone who still believes the experts' claims that bureaucratic reform is the key to rejuvenating America's national security bureaucracy should read the recent Washington Post op-ed by Brookings scholar and "professor of public service" (whatever that means) Paul C. Light. This august gentleman has discerned two major flaws in his nation's intelligence apparatus:

1) It is bloated with a horrifying number of senior positions:
Between 1961 and 2004 the federal government added 41 new executive titles, including tongue twisters such as deputy associate deputy secretary, principal associate deputy undersecretary, deputy assistant secretary, deputy associate executive administrator, and assistant chief of staff to the assistant administrator.
2) A horrifying number of those positions are unfilled:
The current appointments process virtually ensures that the new intelligence agency will wait months, if not years, to fill its top jobs.

The process clearly failed the country on Sept. 11. Two months before the terrorist attacks, just a third of the 166 Senate-confirmed jobs through which the war on terrorism would be led were filled.
His solution? "[F]latten the bloated hierarchies the new agency will oversee and streamline the presidential appointments process that will fill its top jobs." That way, not only will it be easier to fill all the jobs that shouldn't exist, but it'll also be easier to cut back on unnecessary hiring for all the redundant positions that have already been filled.

Or something like that.

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