Monday, October 25, 2004

Better Late Than Never?

Not really. Late contingency planning for post-war chaos will not save those soldiers and civilians killed since Bush's flightsuit fantasy flight. But it might save some lives in the future.

From this morning's Wall Street Journal (subscription):

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office has prepared a directive instructing the military's four-star regional commanders to "develop and maintain" new war plans designed to lessen the chance of postwar instability like the situation in Iraq.

The directive, still in draft form, amounts to a concession that prewar planning for Iraq fell short. [snip]
It may amount to a concession, but you can be sure that nobody will take responsibility for that "short fall" and nobody will be punished for it either.

The Pentagon's four-star regional combatant commanders, who each oversee U.S. military operations in wide swaths of the world, would have to devote more resources and attention to posthostility planning in their war plans. In Iraq, plans for the war and postwar periods were largely developed separately. Inherent in the new directive is the idea that a commander might plan the high-intensity part of the war differently if the commander is also thinking about how to stabilize the country after the major fight is over.


In contrast to planning for the Iraq war, in which the Defense Department kept civilian agencies largely out of the process, the directive calls for the Pentagon to support the State Department's newly created Office of Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations. State Department officials are working separately to develop reconstruction teams that would work with the military.
Seems that BushCo. is filled with slow learners, from the top, down. If the world is going to change as often and as rapidly as it seems to have done over the past four years, it makes sense to have a President and staff that learns much faster than BushCo. has shown it is capable of.


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