Army Investigates Possible Inappropriate Behavior
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 3, 2002 Army Secretary Thomas White has asked the Army inspector general to look into possible inappropriate behavior by service officials in connection with the Crusader artillery system program, Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said this morning at a briefing.
The Army has spent $2 billion on the Crusader to date. It would take another $9 billion to complete the program. Critics maintain the Crusader is too big and heavy for the lighter, more mobile Army of the future.
As defense officials worked through the fiscal 2004 Defense Planning Guidance process, Clarke said, some alternative technologies came to light.
"There are some Crusader-like technologies that evidently show a lot of promise," she said. It's become apparent to DoD officials that proceeding with the Crusader could delay or prevent funding promising technologies that could benefit all services, she said.
Defense officials intend to make sure the department gets maximum value for taxpayers' hard-earned dollars, she said. "Very often when we talk about transformation, we're talking about equipment or the way we're organized, or the way we train, but it is also about bringing the financial management systems into the 21st century."
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz asked White to come back within 30 days with a plan that assumes the Crusader is canceled and invests the freed $9 billion in other, more transformational, technologies, Clarke said.
"Sometime after the deputy met with Secretary White and communicated what we would like to have happen," she said, "there were people making comments; there were talking points and fact sheets being sent around that did not support that direction. I'll just leave it at that.
"Around here," she noted, "when an issue is under discussion or under review, we fully expect people to speak out forcefully, to speak out smartly, to make their case. But when a decision has been reached, the expectations are that you will support that."
Clarke said it's up to the IG to determine what happened: "Who talked to whom? Who did what? Those are the kinds of things I'm sure the IG will look into." She said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is confident that White and the IG will get to the bottom of any inappropriate behavior.
"We're also confident that anyone who may be responsible for inappropriate behavior will be held accountable," she concluded.