Director, international security program, CSISThere’s little that involves defense strategy, budget or policy that Berteau hasn’t heard of, known of, or been a part of. Coveted for his judgment and experience that help him gauge where things stand politically, how they’re likely to unfold and the challenges to be faced along the way, the nonpartisan Berteau may be the best defense policy observer in Washington. Having served four administrations — both under Democrats and Republicans — and with 15 years in industry, Berteau has held positions overseeing weapons production, readiness, budget and policy. Consulted routinely by the Pentagon, Berteau has highlighted concerns about the health of the U.S. defense industrial base.
In the course of a few November days, three people plummeted from the top ranks of the powerful, falling down, and in one case off, the list.
Top editors had just finalized the top 10 for this project when retired Army Gen. David Petraeus abruptly resigned from his job as director of the CIA after admitting to an extramarital affair. The esteemed Petraeus, seen by many as destined for higher office and perhaps even the presidency, had been a fixture in the top 10 from the start.