Russell's Blog

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Second-guessing and Micromanagement

Posted by Russell on May 07, 2007 at 11:12 p.m.
Here is a curious thought regarding "controversy" over whether or not Congress should force Mr. Bush to withdraw the troops from Iraq. For months, the Republican mantra has been that Congress (and the general public) shouldn't try to second-guess the commanders in the field. It sounds reasonable, except for one thing. The military reports to a civilian government. The civilian government, of which Congress is a coequal part, is supposed to tell the commanders what to do.

Obviously, if the civilian authorities give the Military bad instructions, that is a bad thing. So, it stands to reason that when Congress (or the president) gives instructions to the Military, the instructions should be of a nature that recognizes, respects and utilizes the planning and logistics capabilities of the Military. The timetable in the supplemental spending bill did just that; it gave no instructions regarding the operational details of the pullout, and instead would have instructed the Military to put into play its own policies and procedures regarding how to conduct the pullout. The language was crafted explicitly to avoid micromanaging the commanders in the field.

I know it's a rather tired refrain, but the accusations regarding "micromanagement" of the Military is rather hypocritical of this administration. Remember how the US Army War College said the invasion was a bad idea? Yeah...

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