I was going to do an entry on the Rumsfeld memo flap, but James Lileks beat me to it. After reading the memo, which can be read here I fail to see how it’s some groundbreaking admission that the war on terror is a failure.
If anything, the Rumsfeld memo is reassuring as those are exactly the questions that should be asked about the war on terror. Rumsfeld is realizing that we need to be able to respond quicker, expand our intelligence abilities, and generally gear either the Defense Department or a new agency to that task.
If anything, the memo states the obvious. We’ve done well in some areas, but need to improve in others. There’s nothing groundbreaking in that, and it takes a very skewed eye to see that as an admission of failure. Rather, what the memo shows is that Rumsfeld is serious about getting the job done even if it requires a dramatic change to the way in which we’re conducting the global war on terrorism. It’s exactly that style of asking questions and throwing out alternatives that keeps an organization on its toes and prepared for the future. Rather than being a negative, the Rumsfeld memo shows that the DoD is willing to do what it takes to get the job done, which is exactly what they should be thinking about.