Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Joint Chiefs of Choice

Another datapoint that Goldwater-Nichols and the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Combatant Commander system/relationship no longer serves the needs of the nation. It is broke, and has reached the point it is actually a road-block to victory.

In The Washington Examiner, Rowan Scarborough reviews how we came up with The Surge – a plan that was way overdue – but that the Military wing of the National Security Structure in-place could not come up with on its own. A view we only saw bits of earlier.

The JCS is not structured to serve such a role - and neither are any of the Combatant Commanders (CENTCOM is in the weeds on IRQ, AFG, HOA, PAK, IRN.... like they have time and continuity to get out of the weeds).

The whole story is a stinging indictment on our National Security Structure that was put in place and supported by both political parties and two generations of Military leaders.
A group of military experts at the American Enterprise Institute, concerned that the U.S. was on the verge of a calamitous failure in Iraq, almost single handedly

They banded together at AEI headquarters in downtown Washington early last December and hammered out the surge plan during a weekend session. It called for two major initiatives to defeat the insurgency: reinforcing the troops and restoring security to Iraqi neighborhoods. Then came trips to the White House by AEIKagan, retired Army Gen. John Keane and other surge proponents.

More and more officials began attending the sessions. Even Vice President Dick Cheney came. "We took the results of our planning session immediately to people in the administration," said AEI analyst Thomas Donnelly, a surge planner. "It became sort of a magnet for movers and shakers in the White House." DonnellyAEI approach won out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command. The two Army generals then in charge of Iraq had opposed a troop increase.
Keane already had done some ground work. He won a private meeting with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in September. The retired four-star bluntly told him that he would lose the war unless he changed tactics.
With its plan in place, the AEI Iraq team is not sitting still. Keane is an adviser to Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. He has inspected war conditions on two visits. Kagan left for Iraq this week.

"It was kind of the 11th hour, 59th minute," Donnelly said of AEI's surge plan.
convinced the White House to change its strategy. military historian Frederick said the
Maybe 12th hour, 1st minute politically. That is The Surge's birth.

As for the National Security Structure's Military wing - way past time to fix it.

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