By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Since 9/11, the Pentagon has been as poorly run as at any time in decades, and needs someone with strong executive experience to set things straight, according to former Reagan assistant defense secretary Lawrence Korb.
I came away from my first meeting with Gen. David H. Petraeus thinking the guy was a showboat, but I also thought that if he was half as good as he thought he was, he could turn around the war in Iraq. That was in the spring of 2004. I was working as a pro bono special adviser for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and had traveled to Fort Campbell, Ky., to get a brief on how Gen. Petraeus was going to handle his new job as the chief trainer of the Iraqi security forces.
GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has assembled a cast of conservative George W. Bush-era veterans as his key national security advisers. Some of them played important roles in the war on terror and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
I met Ahmad Chalabi only once, and in that encounter I came to the same conclusion reached by Richard Bonin in "Arrows of the Night." I visited Mr. Chalabi in his suite at a Washington hotel during the early months of the intervention in Iraq as a special adviser on counterinsurgency for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
George W. Bush left office less than three years ago, but for the Republicans seeking to fill his shoes as the next president, the mere mention of his name has been all but absent.
Geopolitical tectonic plates began grinding menacingly five years ago when Turkey embarked on negotiations for membership in the European Union. But it didn't take long for Ankara to conclude that the EU was playacting. There was little appetite for adding 70 million Turkish Muslims (80 million by the end of a projected 10-year negotiation) to EU's 20 million Muslims (Pakistani Brits, North African French, Turkish Germans). Church attendance in Europe is in steep decline while thousands of mosques are filled to overflowing. It was time for Turkey to move on.
President Bush has moved promptly to fill the vacancy at the World Bank left by outgoing President Paul Wolfowitz. The nomination of Robert Zoellick, a widely respected foreign policy hand with considerable management experience, should end the swirl of publicity that buffeted the Bank in recent months. But it should not be a pretext to weaken the Bank's anti-corruption efforts that are so important to its mission of alleviating global poverty.
Eric Edelman, the undersecretary of defense for policy, has written a harsh critique of a recently declassified Pentagon inspector general report. The rebuttal is contained in the appendix of the IG report that criticized the alternative, pre-Iraq war intelligence assessment done by a Pentagon policy group on ties between Iraq and al Qaeda as "inappropriate." Mr. Edelman stated that the policy group's work on the issue was not only appropriate and legal, but directed by both former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. "Apart from the numerous factual inaccuracies, omissions and mischaracterizations identified throughout these comments, the [IG] report suffers from a basic analytical flaw in attempting to paint the work under review as 'inappropriate' even though no laws were broken, no DoD directives were violated and no applicable policies were disregarded," Mr. Edelman wrote in his counter to the February IG report made public April 5.