THE PENTAGON – The Department of Defense has announced that in the future, all strategic analysis will be outsourced to private corporations. The defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton is expected to replace the tens of thousands of “strategists” across the Department of Defense with a much smaller number of consultants, sources confirmed today.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who announced the move at a press conference on Monday, said that his decision to outsource strategy was driven by his frustration with the strategists currently serving.
“We have a lot of people running around, using scare quotes, drinking craft beer and claiming to be ‘strategists,’” he told reporters. “No one cares what they say or think. Their titles are absurd and self-important. What we need are people to come up with reasonable advice on how to achieve optimized results in a disrupted world. And let’s be honest, a group of Harvard Business School graduates are radically more prepared to employ buzzwords like that than guys educated at Leavenworth.”
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is the home of the Army’s Command and General Staff College, where officers receive mid-career graduate education on strategy. According to sources, officers are known to study at little as possible while attending the course, which several illiterate foreign officers have graduated from with honors.
Over the next year, the Pentagon and all of its subordinate commands will disband their strategic plans and policy staffs.
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps will also phase out their programs to train uniformed strategists and retire serving strategists, which will save billions of dollars, Mattis said.
Meanwhile, civilian consultants will replace strategists across the Department of Defense. According to the contract, their key duties will include producing PowerPoint briefings with graphics that no one understands, writing white papers that will not be read by policymakers, faking expertise on countries they have never visited (primarily China and Russia), and repeatedly saying “whole of government,” all at a much lower cost than what the Pentagon currently spends for similar duties.
Secretary Mattis did not reveal specifics on what corporations he expects to actually take over responsibility for cohering the ends, ways and means of American power.
However, a senior DoD official with detailed knowledge of the matter said that Booz Allen Hamilton, which designed the U.S. Navy’s strategy to expand and defeat Japan during World War II, is expected to win the contract. Sources at Booz Allen, who were not authorize to speak publicly on the matter, said they expect to cut the total size of the strategist force across the DoD by about 95% without any loss of capability. The sources noted that unlike serving strategists, the new consultants will not be responsible for managing anonymous Facebook pages at work or providing advice on craft beer to other staff officers, which will significantly reduce their workload.
Response in Washington has mostly been positive. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, welcomed the move. “If you actually look at the defense budget, the ratio of strategists to infantrymen is something like one to forty. That’s just nuts. I’m happy to see we’re cutting this down,” he told reporters.