Wow, what’s happened at the Times? Hadley’s high has rarely been so harshed.
It is the kind of task — a little bit of internal diplomacy and a lot of head-knocking, fortified by direct access to the president — that would ordinarily fall to Mr. Hadley himself. After all, he oversaw the review that produced Mr. Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq. But his responsibilities encompass issues around the globe, and he has concluded that he needs someone “up close to the president” to work “full time, 24/7” to put the policy into effect. He hopes to fill the job soon.
“What we need,” he said in a recent interview, “is someone with a lot of stature within the government who can make things happen.”
Yeah. We used to call that the National Security Advisor.
If you’re trying to pass off the responsibility for what’s at best an enormous collective blunder, this is probably not the best time to be looking for candidates. Ain’t too many generals lining up to run an occupation at this stage. It’s really too bad we’re wasting Petraeus on this essentially hopeless mission; if George Packer’s reporting on Petraeus is accurate, he’s exactly the sort of commander who could have made a big difference if they’d used him at the right time. Now, he’s just one more object to be thrown under the onrushing bus by an administration trying to postpone another accountability moment.
So anyway, what’s the idea of the war czar?
…the war czar proposal has left some in Washington scratching their heads. At a recent press conference, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates described it this way: “This is what Steve Hadley would do if Steve Hadley had the time.”
But Mr. [Ivo] Daalder, who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was mystified. “If Hadley doesn’t have time for this,” he asked, “what does he have time for? Our policy toward Nicaragua?”