Remembering the Lion of Fallujah - Major Doug Zembiec
Searching for our brothers

A war czar? Where does the buck stop?

I realize W has never been much for that hands on leadership, and since I have always considered the Presidency mostly a figurehead position i.e. you are hiring the team not the person, that was not the biggest problem. But now he seems to be abdicating any role in leading the two most important agencies he controls, State and Defense.

The two have never worked well together and my disgust with the UN and it's fecklessness was matched in some areas by the spinelessness of the diplomats we had to work with. Obviously both agencies have huge roles in our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and someone should be ensuring they work well together, but what in the hell is a czar, who is outranked by both Petraeus and Fallon in theater, going to do? Unless W decides to hand this guy his Commander in Chief hat he won't have the authority to do a thing, and do we really need another administrator looking over the shoulders of our ground commanders, or trying to understand what some petit-four nibbling diplomat is expounding on regarding post-colonial boundary-making?

I don't think so.

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.

So ditch the czar, have any of these czars ever worked? The drug czar obviously solved that dilemma, eh? If State and DoD are not playing well together then jerk a knot in Condi Rice and Robert Gates' tails. Leadership can't be appointed, it must be exercised.

UPDATE: I am thrilled that I managed to rename Mr. Crittenden and in honor of my cluelessness I give you- Jukes Crittenden  (formerly Jules) who has some thoughts and links on this topic.