Bush Has No Takers For "War Czar"
Four years into the war and Bush cannot find anyone to be the “war czar” over all aspects of our campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Isn't it interesting that these stories are being leaked at all?)
The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.
At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.
"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.
In a very bad sign, one of the guys who blew off the job was a surge proponent.
All three generals who declined the job have been to varying degrees administration insiders. Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff, was one of the primary proponents of sending more troops to Iraq and presented Bush with his plan for a major force increase during an Oval Office meeting in December. The president adopted the concept in January, although he did not dispatch as many troops as Keane proposed.
Yet as the story indicates, a czar won’t do any good if the fundamental policy is wrong and is being pushed by a delusional VP with too much power. No wonder the NYT reports Wednesday that the GOP is growing disillusioned about their chances of winning in 2008. Yet they will stick with Bush until they head over a cliff, won't they?