Stiff-armed and Stonewalled

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) on Tuesday expressed his frustration with what he characterized as the Defense Department’s lack of transparency and consultation regarding the proposed closure of US Joint Forces Command, which is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. “We didn’t have an opportunity to provide input,” he told Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn during the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing on DOD’s efficiency initiatives, which include shuttering JFCOM. “I believe, in another sport, it’s called stiff-arming,” said Webb, adding that DOD has remained unresponsive to requests for more information. “To this point, we’ve been stonewalled,” he said. As a result, Webb said he introduced legislation Tuesday that would block the closure of any unified combatant command until DOD provides a detailed analysis of the implications. Lynn said DOD was now reaching out to Virginia lawmakers as it reviews how it would implement the closure. (See Webb release)