Secretary White Goes Off the Reservation

Phil Carter notes [*] the appearance of a book by Tom White, Bush’s first Secretary of the Army, who was made to walk the plank last May.

Phil, reflecting on White’s harsh criticism of the Pentagon’s planning for post-war Iraq, thinks that Bush’s arrogance and incompetence on matters military may come back to haunt him. Phil gently suggests that broadening the circle of decision-makers to include people who know which end of a gun is the business end would help.

All that’s wrong with Phil’s prescription is his the claim that it would fit naturally into Bush’s acclaimed MBA-style decision processes. That stuff was just for the press releases; for one thing, being a real CEO demands hard work, never GWB’s strong suit. The actual decision style around Bush owes much more to Don Corleone than it does to Jack Welch.

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