Watch Out for the “Cuts” Patrol

That was quite a story that Defense News had in yesterday’s edition: According to the Washington, D.C.-based publication, acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England is getting help from Pentagon strategist/cult figure Andrew Marshall to augment the Quadrennial Defense Review. Defense analysts have been forecasting the Pentagon would make significant cuts to major defense programs, based reportedly on leaks about the QDR and, more recently, by the Administration’s need to pay the huge cost of hurricane relief. Marshall’s recommendations, as Defense News relates the story, would seem to follow the dominant speculation, because he suggests (says the paper) a 30 percent cut to tactical air forces. However, he also calls for a delay in the Army’s Future Combat Systems—the heart of the Army’s move to become lean and fast—which might not sit well with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The Pentagon doesn’t have anything to say about the report.