Danzig on Deck

By Dan Dupont / October 1, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Tomorrow DC-based defense reporters get to question former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, a top adviser to Barack Obama and a guy rumored to be on the short list for defense secretary should Obama win.

We'll have much more tomorrow on what he has to say, but today we'll take a brief look at what he's been saying of late.

First up, our story, from September, on Danzig and former Defense Secretary William Perry, also an Obama backer.

Next, from July, this National Journal interview touches on some key topics including the state of the defense budget. A taste:

NJ: How do you tame the defense budget, given the huge and increasing costs of long-deferred equipment modernization programs?

Danzig: There's a persistent problem with cost overruns. The recent performance of the Pentagon has been unusually bad. It's very difficult, but I think we can do a lot better than we've seen from this administration. This administration got off to a very bad start when it put $10 billion into missile defense and took it out of the normal acquisition process. It compounded that when it made it apparent that it didn't like bad news, and you had turnover in the heads of ((the Pentagon Office of)) Program Analysis and Evaluation. You have to create an atmosphere of honesty and candor.

NJ: But where do we cut spending?

Danzig: That's a very appropriate question. The Hindu religion has a goddess, Kali, who is the goddess of destruction, and we need a Kali: We need some creative destruction. We need the ability to recognize that some programs shouldn't be pursued and some pressing expenses need to be cut back. The answer to that isn't ideological; it's got to be based on a one-by-one look at the programs. I would say the Obama watchword is pragmatism.


  • Here's a bio on Danzig, from the Navy.
  • This Newsweek piece from August gives Danzig's view of how Obama would handle Russia.
  • And then there's Danzig . . . on Winnie the Pooh. Really.