President Bush Desperately Seeking War Czar

While it is an idea that has not fully developed, the position of War Czar appears to be open and ready for hire.

“It’s something I would like to have done yesterday and if yesterday wasn’t available, the day before,” National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters last week.

Meanwhile, a retired US general recently tapped to be the Bush administration’s “War Czar” has said the Iraq war strategy lacks direction and will not succeed.

Retired Marine General John Sheehan, a former top NATO commander, said earlier this month that he had turned down an offer to oversee the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the Bush administration mainly because of Mr Cheney’s hawkish and pervasive influence on US foreign policy and military strategy in the Middle East.

“The very fundamental issue is they don’t know where the hell they’re going,” General Sheehan told the Washington Post. He berated the chaotic military strategy in Iraq and said he supports the more diplomatic, political realist efforts of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, ‘No, thanks’.”

It has been reported that three retired four-star generals have rejected the White House’s offer to co-ordinate the war efforts in a new position dubbed “War Czar” which would report directly to the President. This has left the beleaguered Bush administration struggling to fill the position.

In the Senate this week, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) seized the opportunity to draw attention to what he considers another indication of Iraq policy failure. “The message from the generals who were offered the war czar position has been crystal clear. If they really thought the administration had a strategy that could succeed in Iraq, why did they turn down the job?”


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