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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The New Czar 

CNN has the following story: Bush taps general to coordinate war efforts.

That's a terrible admission of failure right there. Everybody knows when something's beyond fixable, then folk long to change management. It's the last effort of the dying organization, struggling for breath. If you were an investor, that would be a tip not to buy some company. “We had a big management shakeup, replaced the whole team, found a new Head of Chiefery, but we're all better now!” I don't think so. I think you're circling the drain.

At the very least, the desire to invent a whole new position to run something after that thing has been running for a few years means there's something wrong and you don't know how to fix it.

When the US started trying to coordinating all its efforts to control illegal drug trafficking and use, the people they appointed to head the coordination were informally called “drug czar”. That made sense because it was ad hoc and unprecedented, or “special”. But foreign wars aren't. It's one of the things that a government must know how to do. This war in Iraq, however, is turning into some new kind of warlike activity programme. On the one hand, President Bush talks as if it were a struggle for the future of mankind, while on the other he's now trying to insulate himself from it. If he could outsource it entirey, he would.



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