October 23, 2003


The fact that the obvious eludes so many who choose to be deluded is not news concerning the leaked memo by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. I concur with those who think that Secretary Rumsfeld is just doing his job, and doing it damn well, as best I can determine. Those that prefer pollyannish apporaches to the management of our national defense are not to be trusted with it. Ever.

But I saw something somewhere that I think is a little wrong. Anyone who thinks the memo was intended primarily, if not exclusively, for those it was addressed to (Gen. Dick Myers, Paul Wolfowitz, Gen. Pete Pace, and Doug Feith) do not understand the bureaucracy Secretary Rumseld is dealing with. These guys are already in agreement with Rumsfeld or they'd already be gone. In my opinion, this was a not very thinly veiled final threat to a lot of underlings to get with the program or get out. Now whether the memo had to be leaked or not to accomplish this is an interesting question, but marginally irrelevant. The transformation of our armed forces is here to stay and I think it's about to pick up steam. I also expect a lot of retirements in the not too distant future.

This is a good thing.

DOWNDATE: Confirmation of my thesis?

Armed with a dictionary and a gleam in his eye, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday he meant every word of a leaked memorandum to Pentagon leaders questioning progress in the U.S. war on terrorism.

... It was not clear whether this latest leak was sanctioned by Rumsfeld, or whether it came from one of his many critics within the government, but his spirited defense of its contents appeared to be an attempt at disarming his critics.

Three steps ahead, as usual.

Posted by Charles Austin at October 23, 2003 07:13 PM

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, "The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare."

It is refreshing to watch Rumsfeld.

Posted by: Jon at 10:48 AM