Gates is taking on a lot of opponents. Legislators who never met a defense platform they wouldn’t throw money at. Pentagon bureaucrats and staff officers who never met a needless regulation they couldn’t cite to interfere with a low-level commander’s common-sense assessment of his/her needs or capabilities. A system that — I loved this line — comes up with something like this: “The one area of real decline in overhead was in the area where we actually needed it: full-time contracting professionals, whose numbers plunged from 26,000 to about 9,000. We ended up with contractors supervising other contractors – with predictable results.”