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We Might As Well Call It the Pentagon for a New American Security

Some new (and continuity-filled!) Pentagon appointments from the White House today: first, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy’s deputy will be — surprise, surprise — someone from the Center for a New American Security, the think tank she co-founded. That’s Jim Miller, a CNAS vice president and director of studies. Laura Rozen reported this earlier. Also, as previously reported by Inside The Pentagon, retired Marine Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson is going to be assistant secretary for Asia & Pacific Affairs.

Now for the holdovers.

Mike Donley will remain secretary of the Air Force — unsurprising, since Defense Secretary Bob Gates hired Donley in mid-2008 after sacking the Air Force leadership over lax nuclear security. Mike Vickers, who’s running Gates’ budget review, will stay on as assistant secretary for (deep breath) special operation, low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities. Most interestingly, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Clapper will stay on as Pentagon intelligence czar. That position was a Rumsfeld creation, designed to seize control of the intelligence community. It came to a kind of equilibrium under Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, who dual-hatted Clapper as head of defense intelligence programs in his office. Let’s see if that remains now that McConnell’s succesor, Dennis Blair, is in charge of intelligence.

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