Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld launched a battle against Pentagon bureaucracy today in a speech opening the 2001 Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week. Rumsfeld said that he was launching an all-out campaign to shift Department of Defense resources from the bureaucracy to the battlefield.
Rumsfeld described the Pentagon bureaucracy as "not the people, but the processes -- not the civilians, but the systems -- not the men and women in uniform, but the uniformity of thought and action we impose upon them."
"The battle against bureaucracy is a moral imperative because the lives of Americans depend on it," the secretary said. "The modernization of the Department of Defense is a matter of some urgency -- in fact, it is a matter of life and death, ultimately, every American's."
"Above all," the secretary said, "the shift from bureaucracy to battlefield is a matter of national security. In this period of limited funds, we need every nickel -- every good idea --every innovation -- every effort -- to help modernize and transform the U.S. military."
Rumsfeld said the strongest allies in this battle would be the people of this department. "We need your creativity and energy in this effort. If you have ideas or observations for shifting the department's resources from its tail to its tooth, we welcome them. In fact, we've set up a dedicated e-mail address -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- where you can send them."
The full text of the secretary's speech is available on DefenseLink at http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2001/s20010910-secdef.html