: Robert Gates also wants to keep a lid on unauthorized release of unclassified information that could jeopardize the sanctity of the Pentagon’s internal decision making processes, according to the Secdef’s memo (See “Central Planning,” above). Therefore, “all component leaders” are now to notify Office of the Secretary of Defense public affairs prior to any media engagement that could possibly have national or international implications, says Gates. OSD public affairs will ensure knowledgeable senior DOD “have been consulted,” he wrote. It is worth noting at this point that Gates may want to keep internal deliberations under wraps but DOD Directive 5122.05 stipulates that “information will not be classified or otherwise withheld to protect the Government from criticism or embarrassment.” (See also AFPS report by Jim Garamone)
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.