The McCain campaign pounced the other day, when Joe Biden said that his running mate would be tested by an international crisis at the start of his White House tenure.

But the chairman of a key Pentagon advisory panel is sounding a similar warning, telling the next administration to "prepare for a likely first-270-days crisis."

Veteran Pentagon consultant Michael Bayer, chairman of the Defense Business Board, told his fellow panelists that the new president's inner circle should "set aside time in transition to identify the planning, gravitas and interagency process necessary to respond to a likely first-270-day crisis."
From Kennedy (Bay of Pigs) to Johnson (Gulf of Tonkin) to Bush (9/11)," too many presidents were ill prepared for this," Bayer warns.

"For months, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the service chiefs and the Joint Staff have been preparing for the first wartime transfer of Pentagon political authority in four decades," notes Inside Defense, which broke word of Bayer's presentation. "In addition to identifying defense policy issues for an incoming to understand, the military is also on high operational alert."
A key goal for the next administration, according to Bayer, must be to fill civilian posts requiring Senate confirmation as soon as possible.


The incoming administration “must not wait until June” to get assistant secretaries confirmed and October for deputy assistant secretaries to be Senate confirmed, his briefing states.

“Need a very concerted, well-defined process to have top 3 tiers ready to go to Senate confirmation in first 30 days,” Bayer recommends.

Pentagon Panel: Biden Was Right, Prep for 'Crisis' | Danger Room from Wired.com