Chain of Command
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg
In a totally expected development, Tom Ricks reports that troop levels in Iraq will likely be higher come election day 2008 than they were on election 2006. This again, despite objections by senior military officials and the Defense Department.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and top military officers have said they would like to see continued withdrawals throughout this year, but Bush has indicated he is likely to be guided by Petraeus's views.
Max and Pat have both written about this before, but it's worth hammering this point home. This management situation is completely ridiculous. Think of the U.S. government as a corporation (Just for the purposes of this exercise. Nothing to do with privatization). Bush is the equivalent of the Chairman of the Board and Gates and Admiral Mullen play the roles of CEO of the company (DOD and the military). Gates's and Mullen's job, along with the Joint Chiefs, is to think big picture and look at the overall health of the company and where it needs to be putting its assets. Petraeus is the VP of one department. An important department such as marketing. But still just one department. Yet here we have the Chairman of the Board essentially reaching down, ignoring all other concerns such production (Afghanistan), research and development (Pakistan), finance (China) and saying that the only thing that matters is marketing. It's just bad management.