Monday, September 26, 2005

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Buried in today’s Washington Post, on pages A12 and A19, respectively, were articles about the Pentagon taking over responsibility for natural disaster response and the Iraqi Defense and Interior ministries. Great! What could possibly go wrong with this guy in charge?

So, the Pentagon is going to be handling natural disaster response, eh? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we just go to a lot of trouble and expense to create a whole new cabinet department in charge of things like that? Isn’t it a part of their mission to “lead, manage and coordinate the national response to acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies?”

I guess my questions are, if, after all this time, DHS is still unable to fulfill its duties, what did we just spend all this time and money on? If DHS is so incompetent in handling natural disasters that the Pentagon has to take over those duties, why have a Department of Homeland Security at all? And, last but most important, if DHS is so incompetent at handling this part of its mission (natural disasters), how can we possibly trust that it will be able to handle the rest of its duties (i.e., fighting terrorism)?

In other news, the second Post article discusses the shift in the management of the Iraqi Defense and Interior Ministries. Apparently, up until now, assistance to those ministries was provided by the State Department, ostensibly “to reinforce the principle of civilian control of the security services.” This is, to put it mildly, an important principle to reinforce. So, what does it say now that, more than 2 years later, the Pentagon is clawing back power?

My favorite part is that the change from State to DOD was made because the State Department was having trouble putting in place “many of the budgeting, contracting, personnel management, and other systems necessary to administer the country’s military and police units.” That’s just fantastic, because if there’s any organization whose budgeting and contracting practices we want the fledgling Iraqi government to emulate, it’s the Pentagon!

I guess my biggest point, though, is this: Don’t you think that these large assumptions of power on the part of the military maybe should have rated coverage a bit more prominent than A12 and A19?


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CrimeNotes said...

Absurd that I'm commenting on my own blog when I should be out banging Dutch whores, but this is a great issue. Hasn't the Pentagon made a fuck-all of everything it's touched in the past decade? And what in the sam hell are the implications when we hand over so much domestic power to the military? Wasn't half the point of the American Revolution to avoid so much military infiltration in domestic life? Maybe we'll get to test out some new Third Amendment jurisprudence. (The Third Amendment being my co-blogger's favorite amendment, of course.)

Flop said...

Indeed, my plates, if I ever get a car, will read "3A4EVA" so there's no question on that one.