“A report issued this week by the Center for a New American Security, which was co-authored by Michèle Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration, said the Pentagon needs leaders with a record of ‘deep expertise and competence in their areas of responsibility; proven leadership in empowering teams, listening to diverse views, making tough decisions, and delivering results.’ And they must be ‘able to work well in a team of strong peers.’

“In an interview, Flournoy insisted that the report ‘wasn’t a critique of this administration specifically’ but said she sees a lack of appreciation for how important it is to appoint senior Pentagon officials who ‘have the personalities and collegiality to work together effectively.’

“‘A lot of government projects founder on the shoals of personality conflicts among peers,’ she said. ‘The urgency of this and the risks of failure are too great to overlook that dimension of the problem. And so that’s why we called it out. You can spend way too much time fighting turf wars and personality power struggles instead of getting the mission done…'”

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