On Budget, It’s Every Man-Jack for Himself

“Jointness” in the American military is “as high as it’s ever been,” Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey told reporters Tuesday. But—and it’s a big but—the services are still, ah, competitive when it comes to resources. The Army leader noted that cooperation in the battle zone frequenly gives way to elbow-throwing in the Pentagon. Why? Because, said Harvey, each service thinks its mission is vital and that it needs to have the money to carry out its mission. The Army is not advocating a “we versus they” approach, he told members of the Defense Writers Group. The group asked Harvey about press reports that the Army has been asked to give $11.7 billion worth of blood in the 2007 Pentagon budget demolition derby, but the Army leader wouldn’t bite.