Bush Appoints Rice To Stabilize Iraq…Again

In October 2003, President Bush gave Condoleezza Rice the authority to manage postwar Iraq. USA Today, 10/6/03:

President Bush is giving his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, the authority to manage postwar Iraq and the rebuilding of Afghanistan…

Rice will head the Iraq Stabilization Group, which will have coordinating committees on counterterrorism, economic development, political affairs and media messages.

It didn’t work out so well. Washington Post, 5/18/04:


With all the chaos and uncertainty in Iraq, this would be a good time to call on the White House’s Iraq Stabilization Group. At least it would have been a good time to call on the Stabilization Group if the group itself had not become, er, unstable…

But seven months later, the four original leaders of the Stabilization Group have taken on new roles, and only one remains concerned primarily with Iraq. A search of the White House Web site indicates the phrase “Iraq Stabilization Group” has not been mentioned publicly since October.

…[S]ome within the White House, said the destabilized Stabilization Group is a metaphor for an Iraq policy that is adrift as U.S. ambitions in the country are thwarted by an insurgency and a prisoner-abuse scandal.

Today, it was deja vu all over again:

The White House formally gave Condoleezza Rice authority on Wednesday to take the lead in planning and reconstruction efforts in conflict areas such as Iraq.

Her first task, I assume, will be to clean up the mess the Iraq stabilization group left.