Jim Miklaszewski
NBC News
November 6, 2008

Since the upcoming political transition will be the first in wartime since Vietnam, Pentagon officials say they are prepared to begin briefing the President-elect’s transition team, “almost immediately” after today’s elections on a wide range of military operations and Pentagon programs.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“We are undertaking Herculean efforts to ensure the transition goes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible,” according to one official.

The officials tell NBC News they intend to expedite the security-clearance process so that transition members would actually be able to sit alongside top Pentagon and military leaders during secure satellite briefings with combatant military commanders from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given that the U.S. military is engaged in two shooting wars overseas, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered dozens of senior Pentagon leaders to come up with an aggressive plan for a smooth and rapid transition.

Gates laid out a number of objectives, to ensure uninterrupted combat operations overseas, to facilitate the flow of quality information to the incoming administration, and sustain existing programs.

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