Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bureaucrats drool, chaos rules

Donald Rumsfeld's book "Known and Unknown" debuts Tuesday, and Instapundit links a Wall Street Journal interview.
What went wrong in Iraq?
Was it "Bush lied, people died."
Nah. Bureaucrats turf fights.
Mr. Rumsfeld devotes an early chapter to his meditations on the purpose of the National Security Council (NSC), accompanied by his judgment that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice did a poor job of airing and debating substantive disagreements between the State and Defense departments. Rivalries between State and Defense are nothing new, yet Ms. Rice's most "notable feature" of management, writes Mr. Rumsfeld, "was her commitment, whenever possible, to 'bridging' differences between the agencies, rather than bringing those differences to the President for decisions."

"Condi Rice is a very accomplished human being," he says in our interview, and "she had an academic background. Blending things and delaying things is okay in the academic world. She developed a very strong relationship with the president, which is critically important. And yet one of the adverse aspects of the way things functioned—and I wouldn't use the word 'dysfunction'—is that things did get delayed, and the president didn't get served up, in a crisp way, options that he could choose among."
I hope the current administration learns the lesson that academics may not be the best way to run a country.

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