Defense officials say one person they hope will not be kept on by new DefenseSecretaryRobertM.Gatesis thecurrentundersecretaryofdefense, comptroller Tina W. Jonas.
Officials say Mrs. Jonas’ brusque leadershipstylehasledtomultipleresignations of senior budget officials whorefusetoworkforher.Onecareer bureaucrat complained that he resented being called incompetent by Mrs.Jonas,somethingheneverheard in his several decades in government working on defense budgets.
Among the depleted ranks of the Pentagon comptroller’s office are about 15 senior executive service (SES) budgeteers who have left over the past several years, we are told.
Mrs. Jonas, meanwhile, has been quietly lobbying friends on Capitol Hill,hopingthatmembersofCongress willputinagoodwordforherwithMr. Gates and that he will keep her on.
Mr. Gates said during his nomination hearing Dec. 6 he learned the hardwayattheCIAtoavoidupsetting career bureaucrats. The comment wasasignalthatheintendstogivebureaucrats more authority than they currently have under the approximately 200 political appointees at the Pentagon. “When you treat the professionalsinanorganizationwho[...] perform the mission of the organization with respect, and you listen to themandyoupayattentiontothem,I thinkthateverybodyisbetterserved,” he said. “They were there before you got there, they’ll be there after you leave, and if you don’t make them a part of the solution, they will become a part of the problem.”