Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announces a reshuffling of Pentagon offices that he says will save $1 billion over five years. (Paul J. Richards / AFP via Getty Images)
The Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon's futurist think tank, will no longer report directly to the secretary of Defense, according to a new organization plan introduced Wednesday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The office, directed since 1973 by 92-year-old director Andrew Marshall, will now report to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller, Hagel's announcement said.
"This arrangement better ensures that ONA's long-range comparative analyses inform and influence the department's overall strategy and policy at all levels of the government," a document that accompanied Hagel's announcement said.
ONA's future had been in doubt earlier this year, as budget pressures led some inside the Pentagon to consider eliminating it. But the office has plenty of defenders in Congress and in Washington. A wide network of ONA alumni populate defense-oriented think tanks throughout Washington.
The shift for ONA was part of a larger reorganization that Hagel said would trim his office's staff by 20% and save about $1 billion over five years. Wednesday's announcement followed up on a proposal he raised during the summer.
Other steps announced by Hagel include combining several branches of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and eliminating five "non-Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed" deputy under secretary positions.
Ray Locker writes for USA Today.