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Sunday, April 15, 2007


John J. Sheehan - Why I Declined To Serve - washingtonpost.com 

John J. Sheehan - Why I Declined To Serve - washingtonpost.com

Retired Marine Corps general John Sheehan explains in the Washington Post why he turned down the White House's offer to be the new "war czar", formally known as implementation manager for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The day-to-day work of the White House implementation manager overseeing Iraq and Afghanistan would require a great deal of emotional and intellectual energy resolving critical resource issues in a bureaucracy that, to date, has not functioned well. Activities such as the current surge operations should fit into an overall strategic framework. There has to be linkage between short-term operations and strategic objectives that represent long-term U.S. and regional interests, such as assured access to energy resources and support for stable, Western-oriented countries. These interests will require a serious dialogue and partnership with countries that live in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood. We cannot "shorthand" this issue with concepts such as the "democratization of the region" or the constant refrain by a small but powerful group that we are going to "win," even as "victory" is not defined or is frequently redefined.


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