TCS Daily

Unified Front

By Austin Bay - October 27, 2006 12:00 AM

A Pentagon press lunch with the secretary of defense is a rare privilege, especially for a columnist from fly-over country.

I've watched Don Rumsfeld perform on television. He treats stand-up press conferences as sparring rings, where he's the heavyweight champ and reporters are lightweight chumps with glass jaws.

Maybe lettuce and tomatoes mellow Big Don. Rumsfeld seems much less combative with a salad plate plopped in front of him. As the lunch and conversation progressed, I noticed he never picked up a knife, but I've no doubt the man can wield sharp cutlery. The glint in the eye is the clue. Sgt. 1st Class Bowen -- the Korean War vet who taught Cadet Bay how to use a garrote -- had the same steely gleam.

I left it to the Beltway journalists to ask those personality-juiced queries that generate sensational gossip. Here's an example: "Mr. Rumsfeld, are you going to resign after the election?"

Since my scribbled notes include a splotch of asparagus soup, I'll have to paraphrase the SecDef's snarl, "I certainly wouldn't tell you if I were."

Undeterred, I decided to ask a question that goes to the heart of America's ability (or inability) to win long-term, multidimensional 21st century wars.

My question: "Mr. Secretary, based on our experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the limited interagency and non-governmental organization (NGO) participation in that operation, how do you see 'Unified Action' evolving for future conflicts?"

Forgive the military jargon -- at one time I was Col. Bay -- but the question is essential. It also altered the luncheon ambiance. As I asked it, I saw our very steady chairman of the joint chiefs, Gen. Peter Pace, pass Rumsfeld a careful stare.

"I'll tell you we're better at it now than we were five years ago," Rumsfeld replied. He acknowledged that "challenges remain" in achieving Unified Action and that effective Unified Action is critical to winning 21st century wars.

He's right -- we are better at it than we were. However, I know we aren't as good at it as we need to be.

The politically deft SecDef finessed the question -- and it was finesse, not dodge. The military jargon masked a heavy political hand grenade I was rolling toward the Beltway. You think Harry Reid's land deal or Mark Foley's messages are big stories? How about a stinging pre-election turf battle between Defense and the departments of State, Treasury, Justice, Commerce and Agriculture, complete with zinger accusations of who is or isn't contributing to the war effort?

I know, that's quite a claim, which is why I need to translate the mil-speak: Unified Action means coordinating and synchronizing every "tool of power" America possesses to achieve a political end -- like winning a global war for national survival against terrorists who hijack economically and politically fragile nations and provinces.

People understand the role of soldiers and cops in a war, but in 21st century wars where economic and political development are determinative, an arborist at the Department of Agriculture and a Commerce Department trade consultant can be powerful contributors to "Unified Action."

Restoring Iraqi agriculture provides an example. Saddam Hussein's economic and political policies damaged agriculture in the land that eight millennia ago spawned the Agricultural Revolution. (Heck of an achievement, huh?) Agriculture, Commerce and several NGOs have expertise and programs that are helping revive Iraqi farms. Still, problems occur when trying to tailor programs to meet specific local needs -- like, who pays for the program and who is ultimately in charge of oversight and coordination.

While serving in Iraq in 2004, I met a young U.S. Army captain who was running a successful small-scale date palm restoration project. What we really need are joint development and security teams, where agricultural and economic specialists work with that captain "in the field" on a sustained, day-to-day basis. We need to decide who is in charge of that team (the captain or the arborist?) and how we fund it.

Our system for "Unified Action" is still largely a Cold War, 20th century relic designed to prop up governments (so often corrupt and ill-led), instead of helping individuals and neighborhoods become economically self-sustaining and self-securing. Winning war in the Age of the Internet means improving neighborhoods and individual lives. The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and micro-finance whiz Muhammad Yunus understands this.

We are in a long, global war, where economic and political development programs must reinforce security and intelligence operations -- and vice versa.

We've been improvising "joint development and security operations," and we've learned from our improvisation (Rumsfeld's "we're better than we were").

But it's time to quit improvising. Effective "Unified Action" requires re-engineering 20th century Beltway bureaucracies -- which means thoughtful, sophisticated cooperation between the executive branch and Congress.

That means getting past the sensational gossip and confronting an essential issue.

Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and TCS Daily contributing writer.



really challenging questions there, Austin. Hope you didn't damage the knees of your pants kneeling
Still, this is accurate

"That means getting past the sensational gossip and confronting an essential issue."

the issue is that Rumsfeld's been wrong about every single important issue on Iraq post-invasion. Very polite of you not to bring it up, but it's cost the US running toward $1 trillion and made us a paper tiger in the eyes of our enemies.

Rumsfeld's biography
Anyone searching for reasons why the course of the occupation has gone so disastrously can begin with the fact of Rumsfeld's military illiteracy. His entire education in the military arts has been limited to what he received during his NROTC training at Princeton.

Take a look at his bio. Here is a man who somehow has spent his entire career in charge of whatever he was involved in. He has never had a learning role in life but has somehow always been the man on top.

So what, you say. His leadership qualities are obvious. In fact his real gift is in accruing power, and abrading away the power of others in the various bureaucratic organizations he has been involved in. Isn't that something we might want in a Secretary of Defense?

Not when you get a man who won't listen to good advice. The only thing that went well in Iraq is that the most technologically advanced fighting force on earth, with unlimited resources, was able to wrest possession from a fourth rate power that had been hampered by years of sanctions. And even there the thing that saved us was the signal lack of resistance. Our troops were badly overstretched in their race to Baghdad, and had they encountered serious resistance their supply lines would have been cut off. Fortunately, there was none.

The performance would have been far better had the invasion been designed by an actual career military officer-- an old war horse who had received training at one of our war colleges. Our nation has had over two centuries of experience in securing and occupying foreign countries. Among our records at West Point and our other military colleges are valuable lessons learned at great expense, by this country and by every country inhistory that has ever occupied another one. But the Iraq occupation was notable in that when they destroyed the governmental infrastructure, they didn't replace it with anything.

They gave Iraq no law, no order, no police, no courts, no civil administration, not even postal service for the first year of the occupation. Is it so surprising that during that time the Resistance to American rule became entrenched?

Anyone coming to the Pentagon to consult with the Joint Chiefs instead of just to establish his rule over them would have been told both how and why a well planned occupation was necessary. There's more to real life than just capturing the king.

The story of how this debacle came about is well told here:

Rumsfeld's prophecy
"It was Oct. 17, three weeks before a critical election that would give Ronald Reagan an overwhelming electoral victory. It was also a time when voices in the media and Democratic Party were calling for the United States not to introduce Pershing II missiles into Western Europe to counter missiles the Soviet Union had placed in Eastern Europe. The left wanted an accommodation with Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan believed in victory over communism, and the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of the Soviet bloc nations is testimony to his sound judgment.

Even before those exciting events, Rumsfeld saw another threat coming in as the tide of Soviet communism rolled out. He spoke of terrorism. Remember, this was 1984, 17 years before 9/11 at a time when most of the world thought terrorism was an isolated phenomenon confined mainly to Israel.

"Terrorism is growing," Rumsfeld said then. "In the 30 days ending last week, it is estimated that there were 37 terrorist attacks, by 13 different organizations, against the property or citizens of 20 different countries.""

Churchill wasn't listend too either.

One major issue Rumsfeld faces is the entrenchment of each branch of service.

The idea of a DoD and Joint Chiefs was to help unite the military branches.

That won't happen as long as there are USMAs, USNA's and USAFAs.

What will be needed is one branch of service with one funding stream. Until that happens, Congress and the military branches will continue to fight each other for money and power.

Your an a ss
Rumsfeld is only a small part of what this article is about. Back to your hate mongering I see.

The point is to explain how we need to improve our ability to fight this kind of war and work an occupation in the future, and what resources should be used. This has seldom been done well in the past and there is little in the way of experience in instances like Iraq.

The point of this isn't whether or not Rumsfeld has made mistakes, it is are we learning and improving our capabilities. The bottom line is "yes, but not fast enough."

Your vile hatred of this administration isn't relavant.

Again, Rummy isn't the main issue
So why are you concentrating on him? At least your post has a lot of truth to it and isn't entirely hate-speech against the present administration.

The point of this article is are we learning from our experiences? The answer seems to be "yes, but not as fast as we should be."

You are right that Rumsfeld has made some mistakes that might not have been made by a career officer with combat experience. But the occupation has not been "just like" any other.

I believe you once pointed out that this one could have been made easier is a proper transition had been planned and more effort put into economic prosperity for the population. On this I, and I believe the author, whole heartedly agree.

Good post, but I disagree with the ending
Yes, we need some unification, but not all under one banner.

Perhaps the Airforce should be confined to heavy bombers and heavy lift capabilities, with the rest put under the auspices of the Army. The USMC is already under the Navy umbrella but it is probably the wrong place for the Marines to be, except perhaps as a small amphib speciality force. All-in-all the Marines, should be part of the Army as well.

Navy needs to stay seperate (and could possibly absorb the heavy lift and heavy bomber operations of the Airforce into their own, fairly large, present capabilities and do away with the Air Force entirely). The Navy is both the first lime of defense and the first line of offense against any potential enemy. It doesn't need a ground force to accomplish this.

This would cut the JCS to two members and the SecDef. That should make the top easier to work with.

The Dems refuse talk of policy & consequences
While the United Front question was fine, why not challenge Rummy on the Gardner - Bremer issue: isn't that a perfect example of the Defense guy, Gardner, losing out in a clearly uncoordinated way to the State guy, Bremer?

I'm also long annoyed at the lack of Arabic language training, at Defense and State and throughout the gov't.

A couple of softball questions I'd actually like to hear Rummy's answers to: wouldn't more troops earlier have meant more casaulties, but at least better control of Baghdad?
Wouldn't giving more authority to the Iraqis earlier, and reducing troops immediately, have saved US lives and pushed the Iraqis to implement Iraqi security measures sooner?

Final question: wouldn't it be better if the US Treasury would underwrite reconstruction bonds from each Iraqi city and town, so the local leaders get authority over the cash BUT have to pay it back -- through some local tax collection system. [Where are property/real estate taxes, gas taxes, and sales/VATaxes? What are the levels?]

Very good post
And I would like the answers to those questions myself.

It's an interview with Rumsfeld
No challenging questions were asked. Instead, Bay just records verbatim Rumsfeld's self-serving rationalizations.

>The point of this isn't whether or not Rumsfeld has made mistakes, it is are we learning and improving our capabilities. The bottom line is "yes, but not fast enough."

And the problem is, as long as Rumsfeld is in charge, we will never go fast enough. His administration of the Iraq war has been one disaterious mistake after another, starting with a complete failure to plan for what would happen after we removed Saddam. He didn't just fail to plan, he undermined and removed people who were saying we had to. This is documented. You can call it "hatemongering," but it is the armed forces of the US who are taking the hit from Rummy's non-feasance.

If you owned stock in a business run like this, you'd dump it or try to get the executive responsible fired. Instead, in this case, you're making excuses for him - and calling anyone who brings up reality a "hatemonger." As I've noted before, this is just an excuse to avoid having to deal with the real issues.

Except: WHO blew this??
> believe you once pointed out that this one could have been made easier is a proper transition had been planned and more effort put into economic prosperity for the population.

This is the passive voice, no names needed "mistakes were made" mode. That's not how business works, and it shouldn't be how the military is run. Success depends on accountability.

The fact is, specific people made those mistakes. And Rumsfeld was emphatically and egregiously part of this group. Or maybe you just don't think success is important in military affairs.

Yes, and?
Had some of this - "And the problem is, as long as Rumsfeld is in charge, we will never go fast enough. His administration of the Iraq war has been one disaterious mistake after another, starting with a complete failure to plan for what would happen after we removed Saddam. He didn't just fail to plan, he undermined and removed people who were saying we had to."
Been your original post, perhaps there would have been some substance to it. Instead it was just more "I hate this Administration" crap.

No excuses, yes, this administration has made mistakes and hasn't worked hard enough to fix them. On this I agree. But, no matter who was in charge, mistakes would have happened; combat operations and occupations never adhere to plans, plans have to change to meet the situation.

Of course mistakes happen...
They always do. The point is, when they occur, are there consequences?

In Iraq, there haven't been, Screw-up after screw-up, from body armor to Abu Ghraib to looting to still not being able to secure the road from the airport to the Green Zone.

And nothing happens. The same people stay in charge. These are Rumsfeld mistakes.

>But, no matter who was in charge, mistakes would have happened; combat operations and occupations never adhere to plans, plans have to change to meet the situation.

And usually in the military when the mistakes happen, the heads roll. Not herre. court martial a few low ranking scapegoats, medals for the screw-ups.

>just more "I hate this Administration" crap.

Leave the hate out. Are we supposed to admire an administrration that promotes and protects screw-ups? Would you buy stock in a company run on this policy?

Plans? Aint got no stickin' plans
The point is not that they didn't adhere to plans (yes I agree that no warplan survives the first bullet just as no architectural design survives the first nail). Col Bay and others are saying there was no plan. They have admitted this and debating it is pointless. Believe me DOD cut out the other agencies which is silly. And solving this problem is not helped by your personal attacks on others' opinions.

Who you talking to Elmer?
Lemuel here opened with this - "the issue is that Rumsfeld's been wrong about every single important issue on Iraq post-invasion."

First off, no he hasn't been wrong about everything. (Unfortunately he has been wrong about most of the big decisions) This is vitrolic garbage. Want to discuss the mistakes and the lack of quick and decisive moves to correct them, I'm all for that.

Secondly, all Lemuel does is attack others opinions. Obviously you haven't been here long if you don't know that.

Yes, they have admitted they never planned on an occupation, which was stupid considering the goal of the invasion in the first place.

Still, since Vietnam, no president has planned an occupation. Nothing has changed in 30 years+. The American people no longer have the will and want to give up trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives for any reason. Every president should understand that any combat operation must be fast and relatively cheap. We will tollerate a year, maybe two. After that it is time to stop spending the money and lives and get out.

This United States would not fight WWII again. In fact, the only war I believe this country would spend the capital and live on is one inside our own borders. Even that is questionable.

So: Rumsfeld was "wrong about most of the big decisions." So why is he still Sec. of Def?
Where does this come from???

You admit: "Unfortunately he has been wrong about most of the big decisions."

So why does he still have a job?? Why do all the other people who were catastrophically wrong still have jobs. What are you refusing to deal with this question?

And as for this:
> all Lemuel does is attack others opinions

I argue my position, and take issue with things other people say I disagree with. Without namecalling and without rancor. If you regard this as an "attack," maybe you shouldn't express opinions. You should be able to deal with disagrement without becoming disagreable.

Whoever is shooting at us blew it.
And the cowardice of the media and the liberals does not help.

dont disagree
You are right, I don't follow Lemuel's positions but I read his comments as something probably half the US population would agree with. I like Rumsfeld personally but am deeply disappointed by what he did. Now you can say it is not all his fault, that the military resisted peacemaking activities. But in fact, there was no real plan from Gen Gardner, the postwar tasks were divided up amongst more than half a dozen departments. His fault because, again, there was no plan so it was postwar anarchy. It is hard to argue that the unconnected application of services by different departments in Iraq was the fault of the departments themselves because there was no plan to follow. It is hard to be critical that no one followed the non-existent plan. And, in fact, there still isn't one that I can see.

I see: the reason we're not winning is because the enemy isn't doing what we want him to do
And it's the media that keep the enemy from doing what we want thim to do. Those darn liberals: why can't they make the enemy get in line?

This is a really interesting theory.

Maybe, marjon, you should send a note to the enemy telling him please to do exactly what Secretary Rumsfeld wants him to do, and report to a designated locationg to be killed.

That would wrap it all up. You'd be a national hero. Can you get right on it?

Graciously offered
Thank you for your concurrence. I'm humbled. I don't know what to say. :)

I took the article to be merely a puff piece heaping adulation on our war leader. I'm afraid I didn't look beneath the surface to pick up the nuance in it, as you did.

I would offer that I do see one great stumbling block to the understanding most people have of the political situaion-- that is, the core of the reality-- in Iraq. And that is thta it's not some two sided board game with the white hats all on one side and the black hats obligingly grouped together on the other. It's instead an n-dimensional puzzle, with as many different factions as there are players. That is, all 25 or 28 million people all going off in diverse directions.

It's not just the wacko right who suffers this myopia. It seems to be nearly everyone in America. They all feel that if we can just defeat "them", then "they" will all go away, and the long suffering people can finally enjoy freedom.

But there are a lot of Iraqis who don't want our freedom, as a matter of personal conviction. They may not carry guns, or blow themselves up at the bus stop. They're just patiently waiting, until one of their own leaders finally comes to power and they can crush everyone else the way Saddam once crushed them.

Interesting that two thirds of Iraq has already gained its de facto independence. In the Brit-controlled south they have had Shia theocratic rule for the past couple of years. All the girls and women who had social equality under Saddam are now back under the chador, with no options other than a career in the chattel trade. And up north, of course Kurdistan is only nominally a part of Iraq.

All the news we get is what happens in the American sector-- the Sunni Triangle, basically. And we don't appear to really have a handle on what's going on there.

The big stink I'm making here this week-- over at "Baghdad Vigilantes"-- is in strenuous objection to the idea that the death squads are all noble freedom fighters, socking it to Saddam's old thugs.

There is undoubtedly some of that. There is also every other kind of opportunistic killing going on, including money making enterprises like soldiering for hire and kidnapping, killing for sport and killing for the settling of old scores. I doubt more than one out of ten victims deserves the fate he is being dealt at the hands of the new murderers. Oddly, many people here are glorifying the death squads.

Back to Rumsfeld, I just wish at some point along the way he had come to work humbled one day, and asked his staff what they would have done differently. I think we'd all have been the better for that.

Reconstruction bonds
It's an intriguing idea... but I wouldn't want any of my money invested in such turkeys. This kind of a bond offering would very likely all be stolen before hitting the street-- I trust you wouldn't be surprised if I suggested that a government post in Iraq is considered just an opportunity for graft. And before the country ever gained the ability to repay, the debt might also be repudiated by a virulently anti-American government yet to come. So let's not expect them ever to repay such a windfall.

For one thing, many of them I expect are highly pissed that Bremer's CPA took charge of Iraq's store of negotiable foreign currency and squandered it all with no result. So we took their money and wasted it, and now we want to loan them some more? What a deal!

And for another thing, unemployment is still at horrendous levels and there is no economy. None. They have no way of earning fresh foreign exchange, and the dinar is just scraps of paper. One has to assess the client's ability to pay before entrusting him with the bank's money.

At least those are my observations.

Can't disagree with that
That is the big problem, no plan for the rebuilding. It is still spotty at best. I only give Rummy and the Bush administration credit for the fat that this isn't post-war Germany or Japan and re-construction is seriously hampered by the constant bombings and shootings.

Still, they should have had a flexible plan in place and been ready; they weren't.

We disagree on a great many things as well
But this post isn't one of them buddy boy. I concur, though I'm not sure there is really anyone to blame, or there is more than enough to go around.

But you point on the death squads is very accurate. The only real question is how much is nobly inspired and how much is plain rotten.

Al Qaeda Loves Our Unpatriotic Media
"Compare the enemy's propaganda machine to that of the Pentagon, which can't even hold on to the Washington Post as a sponsor of an event honoring the victims of 9/11 and U.S. military personnel. The Post's pull-out from the Freedom Walk demonstrates how the management of a major paper can be intimidated by the far-left "anti-war" movement, including its own staff reporters, when the issue was simply remembering the victims of 9/11 and supporting our military men and women. When the paper pulled out, the Post itself noted that the sponsorship of the event had been "criticized by members of the antiwar movement and by journalists in the paper's own newsroom…" A "peace activist" was quoted as saying he welcomed the Post's "change of heart." Al Qaeda must have been pleased as well. Patriotic Americans should be outraged."

Sure: Rumsfeld's lack of planning was caused by the media
And anyone who criticizes his screwups is rooting for Al Qaeda. Peddle this sick garbage to the Freepers.

BBC admits bias
"An internal memo, recently discovered by the British media, revealed what the BBC has been trying to hide. Senior figures admitted in a recent 'impartiality' summit that the BBC was guilty of promoting Left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment.

Most executives admitted that the corporation’s representation of homosexuals and ethnic minorities was unbalanced and disproportionate, and that it leaned too strongly towards political correctness, the overt promotion of multiculturalism, anti-Americanism and discrimination against the countryside.",2506,L-3318582,00.html

"All the girls and women who had social equality under Saddam "
Who were these girls and women?

Roy: "Back to Rumsfeld, I just wish at some point along the way he had come to work humbled one day, "

" There was a meeting on the Bush ranch with the best minds of Bush Administration -- and there was Donald Rumsfeld:

-- who is a squinty eyed excuse of a human being, so cold he would not sweat in the heat;

-- who wears clothes that are dressier than his boss;

-- who can talk about killing and joke about it at the same time;

-- who scares his associates;

-- who is part of an influential cabal of superhawks;

-- who is trashing a moderate foreign policy with his eagerness to assert America’s military power.

In my humble opinion, Newsweek does not think highly of Rumsfeld. Why? Because Newsweek does not like his personality?

Joseph Goebbels is said to have been friendly to children in the Hitler Youth and he was kind to small domestic animals.

The point is this, it really doesn’t matter how warm and/or fuzzy the secretary of defense, might be. If some PBS avuncular guy in a cardigan sweater were in his place, the country might still take the wrong path. We need someone who is ethical and competent at the top of the defense department. If Newsweek had uncovered evidence that showed that Rumsfeld was incompetent or unethical, then this is actual news. It is actual reporting.

"In regard to the war on terrorism, how do we know when we've won the war? "What indicators are you looking for?" a lieutenant colonel asked the secretary.

"I'll let you know," the secretary gruffly declared.

Then laughing, he added, "No, that's not fair. It's a tough question.

"Our goal is to be able to live as free people," Rumsfeld said, "and to be able to get up in the morning and go out and know that our children can go to school and they'll come home safely." Americans should not have to carry weapons or give up freedoms because "some other group of people has imposed their will on us," he noted.

"The real concern at the present time is the nexus between terrorist networks and terrorist states that have weapons of mass destruction," the secretary said. "What we're dealing with here is something that is totally different than existed in previous periods, and it poses risks of not thousands of lives, but hundreds of thousands of lives, when one thinks of the power and lethality of those weapons."

Rumsfeld said the war against terrorism will not be quick, nor will it have an end where we can relax our guard. "There will always be people who will attempt to work their will against their neighbors and against the United States," he said. "


"# That recent history should make us humble. It certainly humbles me. It tells me that the world of 2015 will almost certainly be little like today and, without doubt, notably different from what today's experts are confidently forecasting.

# The point is: None of us here has a crystal ball through which we can clearly see the future.

# While it is difficult to know precisely who will threaten us or where or when in the coming decades, it is less difficult to anticipate how we will be threatened.

* Terrorism: We know, for example, that as an Alliance of democracies, our open borders and open societies make it easy and inviting for terrorists to strike at our people where they live, work and play."

Note the date.

The persistence of venality
Whatever mistakes have been made one can count on Roy to ignore the issue and bang the drums of partisan politics. Having witnessed the many successes of Dhimmiecrats in less demanding situations such as Haiti, Somilia and Kosnovo and having watched them botched it we would expect an examination of the failures and how to address them. Instead we get another hit piece from the very deluded Roy who always keeps the debate on the high road.

Thanks for demonstrating how one grows idocy exponentially, as always.

The persistence of venality
Whatever mistakes have been made one can count on Roy to ignore the issue and bang the drums of partisan politics. Having witnessed the many successes of Dhimmiecrats in less demanding situations such as Haiti, Somilia and Kosnovo and having watched them botched it we would expect an examination of the failures and how to address them. Instead we get another hit piece from the very deluded Roy who always keeps the debate on the high road.

Thanks for demonstrating how one grows idocy exponentially, as always.

Fantasy time again
I never realized that Iraq under Saddam was a feminist paradise. Of course when we were there there were stories about women who had the misfortune to attract one of the great leader's sons attention with usually fatal consequences. But now we know that this was really an equal opportunity for all women to wind up dead according to our master strateggist Roy the All Knowing.

Its awfully odd that the Kurds have managed to establish a functioning nation that has eliminated the terrorist. Perhaps if we allowed the Kurds to clean house, rather than have to listen to Roy's never ending prattling on about the civil rights of people who enjoy cutting off people's heads on video and patriotics friends of his like Lynn Stewart, maybe the war would be presented in a somewhat different form. However since only nine reporters have the courage to risk being embeds in Iraq its obvious why CNN has to push Al Jazeera's snuf pornography on us while we see Roy cheer on the MSM.

Well it is fantasy time. I wonder exactly how the US would have done in WWII if we see the kind of behavior and unity that the Democrats and people of Roy's ilk have displayed. There is usually a reason for death squads, maybe this is why the French resistance killed 50,000 following the explusion of the ***** from France. As we now know today the resistance numbered something about ten times the size of the French army and somehow never managed to inconvience the Germans although the communists did manage to settle a number of old scores. No doubt the same thing is occurring in Iraq today. 30 years of Saddam's misrule sure makes a long butcher's bill to collect.

Do you really believe that one agency controlled the war in Iraq?
Hey Peter are you totally clueless? You really believe one agency controlled the entire operation? Maybe you can explain to me what State was doing controlling contracting for the first two years of the conflict or what the agency was doing.

Wow, the :Leeming Master's dementia displayed
"Without name calling and without rancor?" Unless your mommie mouth washing treatments have taken effect and the lobotomy is fully effective we all have witnessed the charm, the quaint four letter vocabulary, and ability to "deal with disagreement without becoming disagreeable."

Its dementia time obviously.

Kennedy, CNN, Schumer, ABC, CBS etc are the main culprits
Just as they did in Vietnam these trolls have been hard at work trying to destroy success in Iraq. In Vietnam they went so far as to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by denying all aid to South Vietnam after the North had been defeated on the battlefield guaranting a Hanoi victory. We see the same routine echoed by Murtha and the other dhimmiecrats whose startegy for victory calls for the surrender of California and withdrawal of our troops to somewhere south of the Canadian border.

One looks in vain for one act of support of the war effort or the troops. Who is to blame? Well I wonder if in WWII what would have happened if the major movie threaters all played movies of German snipers picking off our troops at Normandy or the same wonderful conduct the Democrats now exhibit.

I wonder why it is that the evil that the Democrats all voice in the Clintionista regime all vanished when the White House wasn't occupied by someone who needed new silverware? Well the dhimmiecrats are old and famously senile.

Yeah I wonder who is to blame.

Great Question!
""Mr. Secretary, based on our experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the limited interagency and non-governmental organization (NGO) participation in that operation, how do you see 'Unified Action' evolving for future conflicts?"

Do you understand the question and its implications?

The lack of language training
There is a lack of hard language capable individuals for many reasons. Why would one wish to learn a hard language if that side tracked your career or vanished you to some office that meant you were officially invisible. Worse, if you became language qualified you might have to live for years in some god foresaken pest hole with nary a thanks. Even private industry doesn't pay a premium for hard language speakers since most educated people speak English. If the government wants hard language speakers it should be willing to train them and pay them a bonus for devoting years to learn obscure and largely useless hard languages. Besides in most agencies language training is goven to a very small group of people which hinders the US operations but also allows the few speakers to monoploize information and hence control.

Entrenched bueracracies => FUBAR
One may like to believe that when the President says 'jump', all the bueracrats ask how high.

Because our government has become so large and career bueracrats, who may not agree with the current administration policies, have enough power ball up the works, FUBAR happens.

Good observation
But if any agency sabotages the president's will and directive it only means that the president is a poor manager. The fact that Bush could have selected a Collin Powell when it was clear Powell was sabotaging Bush for years doesn't reflect as badly on Powell as it does Bush. Bush also was dull enough to select Tennant as CIA director desoite his many failures that were obvious. As for the bureaucrats, they may think they have safe jobs but I've seen entire Departments eliminated and the staff effectively fired since their positions no longer existed. This should have been done in a number of agencies that believe they are a law unto themselves regardless of which administration they serve.

But the problem here is the premise of the article. NO reconstruction can start till the war is over. I reject the idea that you can do what Bay proposes when it takes one man to undo the work of a thousand in one one thousand of the time. Far better to pacify a nation first then rebuild it.

How can we pretend we can beat these people when we haven't even disarmed the population; instituted a cenus; travel controls; divided regions so enterance and egress is strictly controlled?

Seems like you'll believe anything.
But why not tell us how & why the biased BBC was responsible for Dummy mistakes.

Who is reporting the 'mistakes'?

Why no† speak to the issues?
But you can'†. You're just a bought and paid for noisemaker. F*ck off.

Not the White House or the DoD
Why do you suppose that is??

Bush has a republican house and a republican senate but it's democrats fault if their war in Iraq has blown up. Easter Bunny time.

This is what constitutes rational discourse on the Left
Indeed you are pathetic. One wonders what would have happened to the US if in WWII the Republicans had acted as the dhimmiecrats do now. How fortunate we are to have in the dhimmiecrats a group of people whose base believes the US government organized the world trade center attack. How fortunate we are to have a party that agonizes over the civil rights of people who blow up kindergardens rather than enhance the protection of those in the kindergarden.

Thanks for making the point that no sane person can trust the dhimmiecrats with national security.

I see you've brought your knee pants Leeming
I think its obvious who the paid noise maker is.

How interesting to note your comments laserlike focus on the article and its subject. Well at least your knee pads are nice and thick and thanks for demonstrating your "rational discourse line" once again.

Boy to have the crystal ball the Leeming has!
I don't know about you but if I had the access that Leeming has I'd be a billionaire by now heck a multi billionaire. To have such complete knowledge of the plams indicates the Leeming Master must be a high ranking official within the government and have the ears the the high and mighty.

I am in awe of such knowledge and power. Of course it just could be that when we talk about ignorance, incompetence and delusions of grandeur we only have to examine Leemings comments closely to see his supporting evidence to realize that insanity doesn't run in his family, it gallops.

What is interesting his the failure how additional agencies could have been co=opted into working in an active war zone? The entire concept of attempting to build a society when war rages seems futile in the extreme. But perhaps I am wrong. It appears the monthly average death toll this year is about 4 times the DC homocide rate which doesn't appear to be too bad. In fact I would be willing to bet the number of Iraqis killed in this "war" doesn't compare to what they lost during the eight year long Iraq-Iran war.

What is interesting is that the Arabs states lent over 150 billion to support Saddam during this period. How much do you think all our Arab friends have provided in aid now?

Why no Lemming, CCN sniper porn was because they're patriots
Everyone knows the MSM is so patriotic. Isn't that what Teddie Turner said he was proud to be an jihaddie?

Perhaps its because they're trying to win as opposed to surrendering
That White House and DoD just won't listen to the MSM and dhimmiecrats. I love it when they say what patriots they are and then show Al Jazeera propoganda or compare our troops to *****. But then again as the KGB reported Sen. Kennedy was trying to sabotage the Reagan government during the 1980s. Once a traitor always a traitor.

trying? Maybe. succeeding, no
And their failuer is not liberals or democrat's faul.

Spam and more spam
nothing to say, all the time in the world to say it.

nothing on topic, just namecalling spam
And another topic submerges into useless noise.

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