This is my day to disagree with friends on The Corner, I guess. I enthusiastically agree that the restrucuring of the military was a fine idea and it has been carried out in part. Not nearly as thoroughly as I think Mario believes, but still, full marks for that. As against that, the restructuring of the Policy office seems to me a mistake. Even if you don’t like the way it’s set up at the moment, we’re fighting a war and that is not the best time for management overhauls.
The biggest problems with Rumsfeld have to do with management style and personnel. His style is highly eccentric, which we all love–but we don’t have to work for him. He is forever dropping “snowflakes”–deep thoughts from the boss–on his people, and there is a limit to how many times you can yell at staff “drop everything and tend to this one! yesterday!” After a while the “wolf calling” syndrome sets in, and then it’s tough to function normally. I think Michael and Mario would be quite surprised at the extent to which normal, important issues do not get addressed because the building is constantly in crisis mode. It took me a long time to reluctantly come to this conclusion, which seems to fly in the face of his sterling record at Searle, for example. But I don’t think that DoD is working as well as it should. On personnel, we can talk another time. But it’s hard, I think, to argue that he’s surrounded himself with star-quality talent.