This letter is in response to Rep. Les Aspin's (D-Wis.) article (Editorial Pages, Aug. 5), "Pentagon's Constant War--for Turf." It seems to me that Aspin would do his constituents and the rest of this country well by concentrating on the congressional rivalries that "gum the works and must be curbed."
I have just retired from the U.S. Air Force after serving both as an enlisted member and as an officer. I left after the minimum time allowed for retirement not because of the service bureaucracy (which certainly is alive, as it is in any profession), but because I was tired of bowing to the whims and desires of every congressman and the staffs who thought they could get their names in the newspapers by making a "Congressional Inquiry" into every little glitch in the system.
The bureaucracy that Aspin complains about is not one that has simply evolved, but one that has been generated by the archaic budgeting and planning system that Congress has levied on the Department of Defense. I cannot count the number of times I've made the statement that "If civilian businesses were run this way, they would be out of business within a year." The system encourages the services to bid against each other for the dollars Congress grudgingly doles out. The system is at the mercy of congressional interests, not service interests.