Who decided to dissolve the Iraqi Army?

Where does this buck stop?

Success, it has said, has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan.

By that standard, the decision to disband the Iraqi Army is decidedly a failure. No senior figure in Washington is prepared to acknowledge paternity. It wasn’t Mr. Rumsfeld’s call, Mr. Rumsfeld’s spokesman says. It wasn’t Ms. Rice’s call, says the National Security Adviser, pausing between Bush campaign speeches disguised as official travel. No one bothered to ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to everyone involved.

Mr. Bremer pretty clearly wanted the decision to go the way it went; no one seems sure whether his contemporaneous claim that he had orders to that effect from the Oval Office was true or not.

Will anyone have the opportunity, and the nerve, to ask the President?

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