It’s an interesting discussion, spawned by this Tweet:
October 25, 2010
The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20201
Dear Secretary Gates:
More than two months have passed since I initiated a very basic request for information through the Congressional Research Service (CRS) regarding current and historical staff levels in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Five weeks have elapsed since I sent a direct request to the Department of Defense legislative affairs office to obtain a historical comparison of the size of selected major headquarters staffs in the Department of Defense and military departments.
To date, I have only received a superficial interim response to these requests, with no indication when a final reply may be expected.
This failure to respond to a request for basic information that should be readily available is indicative of the lack of cooperation that has characterized the proposal to close the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). When Deputy Secretary Lynn testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services September 28, he said he would obtain answers to my data-oriented questions in a timely manner. In response to Senator Levin’s request, he also agreed to provide the committee with any analyses completed or presented to DoD relative to JFCOM. That request also has not been satisfied.
The information I requested is not difficult to accumulate, and it is clearly within the congressional prerogative to ask for it. Such data is highly relevant to our ability to reach our own conclusions in the fulfillment of our constitutional responsibility to assess a proposal that has significant ramifications not only in Virginia but throughout the country and also overseas. For this reason, I will place a hold on all Department of Defense civilian and flag/general officer nominations until such time as my request for information is satisfied.
United States Senator