State Department Subversion (what a piSrr!)

Exporting democracy: not a job for State,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 16 July 2005,

Remember PISRR: Penetrate-Isolation-Subvert-Reorient-Reharmonize: the five steps to victory? The Joe Wilson shenanigans were an Isolation attack on the President, trying to separate him from American people. Here’s word on another part of the anti-Bush Doctrine effort: Subversion by the State Department

Review of Larry Diamond’s book on the CPA in Iraq (Squandered Victory and David Phillips’ bitch-session on how all that brilliant postwar planning at State was ignored by the Pentagon (Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco.

How good was the State postwar planning effort?

Many critics of the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq (including Diamond) have cited this project as an enormous opportunity lost, because of turf battles between the State Department and the Pentagon. By this account, Foggy Bottom had planned for a post-Saddam Iraq, anticipating many of the awful things that could go wrong. There is only one problem with this version of events: for the most part, it’s not true. The Future of Iraq Project was not a serious post-Saddam planning exercise for a department readying itself for war. According to the Iraqi writer Kanan Makiya, who was perhaps the most influential voice within the democratic principles working group, it was mostly busywork for Iraqi exiles whom State wanted to guide and control. For exiles like Makiya-and some neoconservatives in Washington like me, who would have welcomed serious postwar planning in any quarter-it was clear that the Near Eastern bureau at State, which oversaw the project, did not want to engage in any planning that might make the path to war easier.

This is why the new office of stability and reconstruction ops in State will never work. State will always (and should always) want to avoid war, because it’s the Department of Peace. Meanwhile, the Defense Department will always (and should always) want to avoid the peacekeeping that must inevitably follow war. What’s needed is a third department between the two, one that focused not on war in the Gap or peace in the growing Core but on getting weak states from the Gap to the Core.

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