These kind of games of ranking
influence are fun, and perhaps useful in
that they make one consider how things work. Also, if someone is ranked much
higher than you expect, it makes you consider for a moment whether you fully
That said, I find this
list of the 100 most influential people in defense pretty
flawed, and perhaps a bit naïve. I would have included at least one or two congressional staffers,
and a couple of people from the staff of the National Security Council. And in
an administration whose foreign policy is as politicized as Obama's is, I would
expect to see a couple of White House political advisors. Also, I don't think I
saw OMB on that list -- OMB looms very large for defense secretaries.
the Pentagon, I suspect the list overestimates Andy Marshall's current
influence, and I say that as the writer who wrote the first profile of him,
about 17 years ago.
journalists tend to be reluctant to credit the influence of other journalists,
but I think David Ignatius should be on the list. Finally, where is Digital
Washington -- Google, Palantir, and so on? Finally, I think that using little
groups to get in more names is kind of a copout, if the process is indeed intended
to select the top 100.
I would give it a C-.
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