This post has been updated.
Gordon Adams is a Washington D.C. defense expert who oversaw defense budgets for the Clinton administration and is something of a crotchety contrarian in the beltway debate over the Pentagon purse. He is an opponent of the kind of creative accounting that has kept the Department of Defense’s budget afloat and how Pentagon planning has entered an alternate reality. So it’s not surprising that Adams may not be the most popular figure within the Pentagon; what is surprising is that a Pentagon speechwriter is publicly attacking him.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Greg Grant, a speechwriter for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, attacked Adams, an FP columnist, on Twitter:
Gordon Adams is not a defense expert. Never has been. He’s a numbers cruncher. And anti-defense spending quote for lazy DC reporters.
— Greg Grant (@gregmgrant) July 10, 2014
It’s a bit of a tempest in a beltway teapot, but for a speechwriter to attack a respected defense expert is something of a break in decorum. Speechwriters are supposed to stay in the background, unobtrusive wordsmiths laboring for the greater glory of their bosses. When they step into the limelight, it typically doesn’t go very well. One need only recall when Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau was photographed during the 2008 campaign groping a paper cutout of Hillary Clinton.
We’ve reached out to Adams for a response and will update if and when we have one…
Update: Looks like the spat has been resolved:
— Gordon Adams (@Gadams1941) July 10, 2014
Dunford to take over Feb. 10; Why Wolfowitz likes Flournoy (it’s not just over Afghanistan); Death toll mounts in Syria; The fiscal cliff leaves the Pentagon sour; Kristin Lord to USIP and more.Gordon Lubold
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 |