Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Semper FIE on the the White House

September is on its way and that means the long awaited report from General Petraeus.

Reports to be released:
Sept 4: GAO report on Iraq
Sept 4-6: A report to Congress from its independent commission headed by Marine Gen. James Jones on Iraqi security forces.
Sept 10-15: White House Benchmark Report and testimony to Congress from Gen.Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

The big story this week is that the Congressionally Commissioned GAO report was leaked to the Washington Post by an "official" who feared that its conclusions would be watered down much as this month's National Intelligence Assessment was. In fact, the report hints that the "range of views" that actually exist in the Administration were not been reflected in past reports issued by the White House.

According to the leak, Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks.

Among the findings are the following:
1. Attacks against US troops are down, but attacks against Iraqis remain unchanged.
2. There has been little marked improvement in the capabilities of Iraqi security forces.
3. The Iraqi government has done nothing to resolve sectarian issues.
4. That the Bush Administration has failed to provide adequate data to support their past assessments of the war in Iraq.

This last "finding" is long overdue.

There has long been a rift between the civilian and military leadership. I will be very interested to hear what General Jones' report says. My bet is that it will corroborate the GAO report.


Dr. Strangelove said...

The four findings USWest lists are a truly damning indictment of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq. The only mystery surrounding the September reports for me is whether Petraeus do anything other than toe the party line.

USWest is right that the rift between civilian and military leadership at the Pentagon appears to be growing. The cost of Rumsfeld's purges and reshuffling of top brass has yet to be tallied in full. There should be some tension, of course--the military ought to be subservient to civilian authority, and the generals will never adore that relationship--but in war where the President so vocally defers to the Commanders on the ground, military leaders can be excused for expecting their voices to be heard.

USWest: any thoughts on who might be good as the next (Democratic, let's optimistically assume) Secretary of Defense? Though I like Gen. Wesley Clark, I believe it would be a mistake to appoint a former high-ranking officer: as I indicated civilian control is an important principle. But someone with former military experience might be worthwhile. Senator Jim Webb comes to mind.

The Law Talking Guy said...

By "defer," you mean "blame" right?

Raised By Republicans said...

What about Bob Kerry of Nebraska if he doesn't run for Senate?

USWest said...

I haven't given much thought to who should be the Sec. of Def. I have mixed feelings about picking someone with too strong a miltiary background. I will explain that shortly. I think whoever it will be, he (and it will be a he no doubt) should have served in the miltiary and have a good solid record. And no, not John McCain.

Why am I concerned about someone with a strong military background, like a retired officer? I think that someone of that nature, who spent a career in the military may not have enough objectivity to counterbalance the military side of the table. My little microcosm of government is experiencing this problem now.

Now despite what I just said,one name that I would respect as a Sec. Def. and who I think would be objective enough because of his background. I know it sounds nuts, but I sort of think someone like Colin Powell would be good. It is too bad Powell is so tainted because I think he still has some valuable service in him.

Whoever he is, the politicization of the military has got to stop. Rumsfeld did a great disservice to the Pentagon on that front.