I can see the ad now: "Wanted: War Czar to oversee conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Must be able to end-run Condi Rice and Bob Gates on behalf of Dick Cheney without making it look obvious. Apply at The White House, Washington, D.C."
That, in a nutshell, is what the Washington Post is reporting today. That, and the fact that three retired generals have already turned down the gig:
"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' " he said.
Even Gen. Jack Keane, mastermind of the "surge" along with neocon military scholar Frederick Kagan, turned it down. Kagan himself is pushing this concept of a "war czar:"
The idea of someone overseeing the wars has been promoted to the White House by several outside advisers. "It would be definitely a good idea," said Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "Hope they do it, and hope they do it soon. And I hope they pick the right guy. It's a real problem that we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort."
For whatever reason, the Post sees fit not to mention the Kagan-Keane connection. But the Post seems to be omitting lots of inconvenient facts lately.