The White House has been quietly attempting 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.” It hasn’t publicly disclosed the position, which was today reported by the Washington Post, because it hoped to “find someone President Bush can anoint and announce for the post all at once.”
But so far, the White House hasn’t found anyone willing to take the job. At least three retired four-star generals have turned down the White House’s offer, including a key administration ally and escalation proponent:
Retired Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston also rejected the position, but refused to comment to the Washington Post.
A war czar can’t fix the Bush administration’s mess in Iraq. As Carlos Pascual, former State Department coordinator of Iraq reconstruction noted, “An individual can’t fix a failed policy. So the key thing is to figure out where the policy is wrong.”
(Kevin Drum has more.)