Through the kind invitation of my friend, columnist and former FPRI analyst, Bruce Kesler, the well-regarded blog, Democracy Project, is running my guest post “Modern Foreign Policy Execution” subtitled “Instead of Crowning a New Czar, Bush Should Ignite A Revolution“, where I offer some suggestions for changing the decidedly broken, interagency process for foreign policy. A brief excerpt:
“Secretary Rice rattled cages at Foggy Bottom by prioritizing Iraq assignments over the “old boy” network and PC concerns that dominated past FSO assignments, making official the informal practice that prevailed under Secretary Powell. Resistance by diplomats and bureaucrats to working in dangerous locales that are critical national security priorities remains unacceptably high. This is partly due to reasonable safety concerns but also stems from political opposition to administration policy and simple resistance to a synergistic mindset that requires housing “other agencies” in “their” embassies. Even the DIA has been credibly accused of holding back Arabic linguists from Iraq duty and of having managers who retaliate against analysts with Arabic skills who volunteer for Baghdad duty and of enforcing a “groupthink” company line in analysis. Frankly, this is no way to run a foreign policy in a time of peace, much less one of war. “
A personal aside: Bruce is a veteran of the Vietnam War and he has both an interest and some healthy skepticism toward the many newer military theories. One of those is 4GW, which I believe has utility for analysts, historians and statesmen as well as for military professionals. While I write about 4GW with some frequency, it is properly associated with William Lind, Martin van Creveld, Chet Richards, Thomas X. Hammes, “Fabius Maximus” and other writers featured at the excellent and always thought-provoking Defense and the National Interest.
Cross-posted at Zenpundit.