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I don't normally look to Esquire for information about important changes in public policies and institutions. But the July Esquire has at least one such article, by Thomas P. M. Barnett (The Pentagon's New Map) on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Barnett is one of the most interesting strategic thinkers around, and his article told me a lot I didn't know. Money quote: "Four armed services existed at the outset of the Rumsfeld era, but only one military force will remain when he's gone." The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, one of the most important laws Congress has passed in the last half-century, imposed jointness in military operations: Each of the regional commands draws on forces from all the services and makes its battle plans separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But the services have tended to go their own way in what seems to be their major work, acquisition of military equipment. Rumsfeld, Barnett argues, is changing that, and in ways that he hopes will long survive his tenure. Fascinating.

As they say, read the whole thing.