June 4, 2002
War and civilian leadership
An excellent piece in this week's Weekly Standard lauds Eliot Cohen's new book Supreme Command. The article's author Michael Barone argues that civilian control of generals during a time of War is essential to the proper prosecution of conflicts. Cohen says that Churchill is the best example of this kind of civilian leadership in the last century and lauds the current administration for its oversight over the sclerotic, tradition-bound Pentagon.
But the man Barone admires as a civilian leader? It's not the simple-minded George W. Bush. It's Donald Rumsfeld. As has been stated elsewhere, Rumsfeld was too abrasive to be a very good Secretary of Defense. But he is a becoming one of our greatest Secretaries of War.