13 August 2022


While I was out grocery shopping yesterday, I flipped the radio over to NPR. (Yeah, I'm one of those. But sometimes I listen to ABC News while driving, too.) On Point was hosting two reporters who've just published a book about fiascos two years ago. Or maybe four decades ago: Thanks for not considering the past.

Ms Glasser and Mr Baker described a White House essentially being run by frat bros — ideas that "seemed good at the time" to do things to advance the general agenda (not to mention personal interests) of the President and those closest to him were turned into directives and signed without consulting those who had authority or knowledge on those subjects. One particular example was an order in November 2020 — just after the election was called for Biden — to accelerate withdrawal from Afghanistan so that it would be completed in less than two months, that is prior to 20 January 2021. In their account, the directive did not go through the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; those three individuals (by terms of both statutes and treaties) were responsible for considering, drafting, and implementing any such actions.1

Ms Glasser and Mr Baker described a foreign/military policy being run by "rogue operators"; I'm uncertain whether that's their summary or the language given to them by their sources or whatever. But they clearly did not study history; shift 1600km southwest and backward four decades, and it sounds an awful lot like more than one book about Iran-Contra.2 It's not just an echo, or a parallel. It's the same bloody nightmare.

Perhaps war is too important to be left to the generals, Mr Clemenceau (although given your circumstances and the nation you led, perhaps your credibility and perspective were and are a bit lacking). Just about anything, however, is too important to be left to unelected wet-behind-the-ears sycophants who got their apparatchik jobs for no reason any rational observer can discern (or at least not a rational observer sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic — and who takes that oath seriously).

  1. See, e.g., the National Security Act of 1947 § 202(a), 61 Stat. 495, 500, as amended.
  2. Cited as examples only, and not as either approval or criticism; not as agreement or disagreement. Only with disgust at the basis for their existence.