Public Choice


15
May 07

Wars in the Middle East are officially a vested interest

I read this article on CNN.com

White House taps general for ‘war czar’ post
President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon’s director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a “war czar” after a long search for new leadership, administration officials said Tuesday.

In the newly created position, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would also maintain his military status and rank as a three-star general, according to a Pentagon official.

and was reminded of this Albert Jay Nock quote:

Experience has made it clear beyond doubt or peradventure that prohibition in the United States is not a moral issue; it is not essentially, even, a political issue; it is a vested interest.

and this H.L. Mencken quote:

The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.

We have this horrible tendency in our culture to see the means (a big new bureaucracy) as an end in itself, nay, an achievement. What endeavor has failed because there are too few managers? The right managers, sure, lots of failures due to a lack of them. But too few?

Plus an additional bureaucracy just creates it’s own principal-agent and knowledge problems.

Functionally Lute will probably serve as a dedicated adviser, but why the title Czar? All of the Russian Czars were an odd combination of stagnant, incompetent and murderous. Why is that some role model.

Sigh.