Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rumsfeld Memo

I've read the memo and find it quite interesting for what is proposed. The thing I find even more interesting is the commentary that has floated on this memo. I'm seeing a lot of commenters making rather extreme assumptions on Rumsfeld's intent from this list of prospective actions that I find fascinating.

Andy McCarthy is almost amusing in his contentions. You may be able to make his conclusions from an overall political perspective of the removal of Rumsfeld, but attributing that to this memo is just silly.
The memo itself is extraordinarily interesting, even to us non-military types, especially given (a) how little regard Sec'y Rumsfeld seems to have for a lot of the strategy either currently being employed or likely to be proposed by the Iraq Study Group; and (b) how Rumsfeld seems a lot more interested in quick strike capability against al Qaeda and Iran elements than having U.S. forces enmeshed in Iraq's sectarian infighting. It will be a lot more interesting to get analysis from people like Mac Owens, Jim Robbins and Fred Kagan — who actually know what they're talking about in this regard — than from me.

My strictly non-military observation, based on many years in government, is: We appear to be in for two years of increasing dysfunction.

This strikes me as someone who has never had to do an analysis of a situation and provide a detailed list of actions. If the person doing such a review is a professional, they will provide a complete list of available options and make recommendations. I've done this in the nuclear industry for several situations and if you are responsible, you place all options that will meet the specified goals, even if you don't agree with some of those options. The assumption McCarthy makes, and many others in the Blogsphere, strikes me as being irresponsible. Not to mention that they are promulgating a view that is only supported by those with extreme political vitriol against the present administration.

I do agree with McCarthy's statement of the leaks.
If high officials — in wartime, no less — figure they better not give their best, most candid advice on sensitive, publicly-charged issues because opposing policy factions are going to leak each other's memos to the press, the initiative and creativity of the smart people we want in government is stifled. And the leaks will be used to portray the administration as disintegrating into rancorous chaos, which avalanche feeds on itself.
This is further reason why these leaks need to go into extreme criminal investigations and those found guilty should get the maximum sanction.

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