5.16.2007

We don't need none of this "diplomacy" nonsense - just a war czar

Isn't one supposed to stop after three strikes? At any rate, Bush seems to have made contact with... something on his fourth swing - and he's come up with another layer of bureaucracy and added a position that seems to do some heavy damage to the institutions of the State Department and the position of Commander in Chief itself:
To the extent that the State Dept. has a role currently in Iraq it should be subordinate to the military role and to ensure that it functions smoothly, and any State Dept personnel in country should report to the military chain of command. That is well within W's authority and it is fairly common for military folks to be attached to diplomatic missions, so geese and ganders on that. While the two agencies have different missions they are both completely connected as part of the continuum that starts with diplomacy and ends with military force, the iron fist in the velvet glove.
(incidentally, I believe this is the same "Uncle Jimbo" who used to blog for the first incarnation of the madison.com blogs section at Military Matters)

But will this position, as hoped, "cut through bureaucracy that has hindered efforts in Iraq"? The position seems to be set up for failure - more a "cover yer ass" position that anything else, there being now just one more layer of bureaucracy between Bush and the actual war effort he's supposed to be overseeing:
"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' " he said.
It is hopeful that Lute has been a critical voice, arguing
that a short-term "surge" would do little good and that any sustained increase in forces had to be matched by equal emphasis on political and economic steps, according to officials informed about the deliberations.
At any rate, here's a pretty good roundup of blog reaction.