Executive Agency Fallout:

Defending the recent Pentagon decision not to give the Air Force executive agency over medium- to high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, Army Secretary Pete Geren told defense reporters Thursday that the Army’s modernization goals don’t fit with an executive agent approach. “The need for control with UAVs fits close to the individual soldier,” Geren said. Part of the Army’s Future Combat Systems program is to empower soldiers and give them greater control over assets such as UAVs. He noted that Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley have met on the issue recently to work out disagreements. “Some of the disagreements have arisen because these issues have not been tackled at a high enough level,” Geren said. While sympathetic to the Air Force’s perspective, he noted that an executive agent approach that’s advocated by some would make sense if we were fighting a conventional war. “It’s a different debate when you’re talking about the kind of fight we are in today,” Geren declared.