New HASC chairman’s game plan
Best Defense's congressional correspondent outlines the House Armed Services Committee's plans for 2015 and beyond.
By Katie Richardson
By Katie Richardson
Best Defense congressional correspondent
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) on Tuesday laid out his plans as the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. His discussion centered around his goals going into the new year and forward for the committee and Congress as a whole.
First, the Texas Republican said, he wants to focus on accountability from all directions, stating that “you don’t fix organizational problems with more organization.” In order to simplify that accountability, Thornberry said, he wants to promote an organizational culture and structure that promotes thinking.
Second, he wants to improve the acquisition system. He described the process as inefficient and inflexible, undermining American missions and costing the lives of American soldiers — assertions that prompted many questions in the Q and A afterwards.
Lastly, he detailed three capabilities that he hopes Congress, the Pentagon, and private industry can work together to develop. These are:
–increasing the number of ships and planes to demonstrate a true world presence,
–understanding new domains of warfare, such as space and cyber,
—and studying and preparing for biological threats.
He ended by saying that he hopes U.S. military leaders would not be guided by allegiances or competing responsibilities and “just shoot straight” with the committee and Congress.
Alex Wong, Getty Images
Thomas E. Ricks is a former contributing editor to Foreign Policy. Twitter: @tomricks1
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