Is the prospect of facing a Congressional inquiry over whether he soft-pedaled the Administration’s role in the Air Force’s tanker controversy driving Pentagon Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz out the door? Possibly, says the Los Angeles Times. Schmitz announced last week that he will leave DOD as of Sept. 9. He’s going to work for the parent company of Blackwater USA, a private defense contracting firm. According to the Times, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa sent letters to Schmitz this summer saying he was the “focus of a Congressional inquiry” regarding several matters, including his report on the Boeing tanker deal. Schmitz sent his report to the White House for review. Read our article on the tanker controvery here.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.