David Hackworth on Wesley Clark

David Hackworth may or may not be a good judge of military personnel, but as long as the Clark-bashers are still quoting his “perfumed prince” line from 1999, his more recent thoughts — influenced, unlike his previous ones, by having read Clark’s book and met the man himself — ought to be on the record:

… I never served with Clark. But after spending three hours interviewing the man … I’m impressed. He is insightful, he has his act together, he understands what makes national security tick — and he thinks on his feet somewhere around Mach 3. No big surprise, since he graduated first in his class from West Point, which puts him in the supersmart set with Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur and Maxwell Taylor.


He says he now wants to lead America out of the darkness, shorten what promises to be the longest and nastiest war in our history and restore our eroding prestige around the world.

For sure, he’ll be strong on defense. But with his high moral standards and because he knows where and how the game’s played, there will probably be zero tolerance for either Pentagon porking or two-bit shenanigans.

No doubt he’s made his share of enemies. He doesn’t suffer fools easily and wouldn’t have allowed the dilettantes who convinced Dubya to do Iraq to even cut the White House lawn. So he should prepare for a fair amount of dart-throwing from detractors he’s ripped into during the past three decades.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “David Hackworth on Wesley Clark”

  1. Wednesday Clarkbot

    The Extended Phenotype has this to say about Clark's new book: "very good, articulate stuff, cementing my notion that Clark is the candidate we want to run against Bush in 2004." Mark Madsen also admits to "getting bogged down" in…

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