The Pentagon responds to Micah Zenko.
- By George LittleGeorge Little is acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs and Pentagon press secretary.
Micah Zenko’s November 27 column, headlined "Offensive Maneuver: Why Does Leon Panetta Hate Democracy?", is absurd. Zenko suggests that a secretary of defense should not voice concerns about the potential impact of excessive cuts to the defense budget. That’s precisely what a secretary of defense should do, especially when this secretary is implementing $487 billion in defense spending reductions based on a strategy developed by the department’s military and civilian leaders. The secretary has appropriately called for a national conversation about the entire federal budget with an eye toward encouraging Americans to take a balanced approach to deficit and debt reductions. That’s what a leader in a democracy does. To suggest that he has "belittled the process of deliberative democracy" is deeply offensive and beyond the pale.
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Situation Report |