Youve probably seen the

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May 4, 2002 2:53 a.m.

You’ve probably seen the reports that Don Rumsfeld has essentially withdrawn his support for Army Secretary Tom White over White’s alleged lobbying of Congress against Rumsfeld’s decision to scrap something called the Crusader artillery system, something the army is very set on having.

Perhaps this is the final straw for White, who’s obviously been on the ropes with Enron for months. Who knows? But don’t mistake this for an Enron story or even a Tom White story.

The real issue here is the intense antagonism between the Office of the Secretary of Defense (i.e., the political appointees shaping policy) and the uniformed services at the Pentagon. It’s real; it’s deep; and it runs from policy to procurement.

The defense intellectuals who are running the Pentagon have little respect for the folks in uniform and the feeling is pretty much mutual. White is a career army officer so his divided loyalties are apparent. So maybe this looks like a chance for Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al. to kill two birds with one stone.

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