December 15, 2006
'Tis But A Scratch!
Nobody knows why the Black Knight guards his bridge, or for that matter Draco his gold. Seemingly irrational, they nevertheless represent real obstacles to be overcome. Conceived in bureaucratic terms it's the difference between the formal bureaucratic hierarchy and the informal network that really keeps things moving: understanding the latter takes a certain kind of genius. A maverick. For decades at the Pentagon Chuck Spinney—an insider's insider—fought the good fight, mostly (but not entirely) over budget issues. Good government advocates have recognized his contributions, as has Congress in inviting his testimony (PDF). A kindred spirit of everyman, he brings extraordinary common sense to problems that seem to go beyond the scope of ordinary men. We cover Iraq, the Defense budget, and how the budget and policy interact. I'm quite honored to talk with Chuck and found his perspective both true and in parts extremely funny. Please also note a site Chuck helped found, Defense and the National Interest. Total runtime here of an hour and thirty three minutes. Enjoy!