The Best Defense

The Stanley purge

I'm hearing that the new Pentagon under secretary of Defense for personnel, Clifford Stanley, is defenestrating people left and right. Latest to get the heave, yesterday, was Noel Koch, the guy who was running the Wounded Warrior program.

Anyone wanna shed some light on what is going on?

The rest of you, remember Pentagon politics rule one: Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, and people who understand where power resides talk personnel policy. For example, if in the 1980s you wanted to get the services to send better people to joint billets, you'd make "joint time" a prerequisite for promotion to flag rank.

5:30 UPDATE: I asked for more info, so Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell called to offer his explanation. It looks like the purges are going to continue in the Pentagon personnel office. Defense Secretary Gates believes that office is in "desperate need of a wholesale reorganization," Morrell said, and has given Stanley "wide authority to revamp it from top to bottom."

Morrell added, "There probably will be more changes in the offing."

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

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