LTG Doug Lute Appointed War Czar
After a long search in which he was reportedly turned down by several four star generals, President Bush has found his war czar in the J3’s office: Army LTG Douglas E. Lute. Presuming he is confirmed by the Senate, “Lute would have the rank of assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would report directly to the president. His job, which is part of a broader reorganization of the National Security Council staff responsible for Iraq and Afghanistan, would be to brief Mr. Bush every day on the two conflicts, and work with other government agencies — including the Pentagon and the State Department — to carry out policy.”
I expressed dubiousness about the whole idea of a war czar when it was first floated and the appointment of a 3-star who is currently running operations for the Joint Staff doesn’t win me over. I couldn’t agree more with Phil Carter‘s analysis on this one.
My only caveat is a minor one: While it sounds odd to appoint a 3-star to a position that requires coordination of cabinet secretaries and layers of 4-stars, it’s hardly unprecedented. Indeed, Lute would be a deputy NSA and 3-stars, including Colin Powell and John Poindexter, have held the NSA slot. It theoretically violates every principal of the chain of command but it’s been done.