Mayberry Machiavellianism comes to Iraq

The CPA performed so badly at least in part because the people hired for it didn’t actually have to know anything relevant.

Right. Hire the folks who are going to run the reconstruction of Iraq by grabbing random resumes off the Heritage Foundation website. Don’t bother to pick anyone who speaks Arabic, or knows about the Middle East, or has studied development. Staff the budget office with political science majors who can’t read a balance sheet.

Given Team Bush’s almost Maoist sense of the transcendent importance of politics, political reliability is everything, and competence is nothing. I can understand their applying this to stuff they don’t actually care about. But the Iraq adventure was their crown jewel. How could they have tossed it away so casually?

If George W. Bush is defeated for re-election because of the chaos in Iraq, he will have earned it.

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

Comments are closed.