Civilian analysts who helped defeat al Qaeda

Washington Post:
Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, a husband-and-wife team of hawkish military analysts, put their jobs at influential Washington think tanks on hold for almost a year to work for Gen. David H. Petraeus when he was the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Provided desks, e-mail accounts and top-level security clearances in Kabul, they pored through classified intelligence reports, participated in senior-level strategy sessions and probed the assessments of field officers in order to advise Petraeus about how to fight the war differently.

Their compensation from the U.S. government for their efforts, which often involved 18-hour workdays, seven days a week and dangerous battlefield visits?

Zero dollars.

Although Fred Kagan said he and his wife wanted no pay in part to remain “completely independent,” the extraordinary arrangement raises new questions about the access and influence Petraeus accorded to civilian friends while he was running the Afghan war.
This is a long piece, but it fails to raise any substantive question about the work of the Kagans and the report seems frustrated by their decision not to make any money off their work on the war effort.  You can be sure that if they had, the media would be suggesting that it tainted their advice.

I like the work of this couple.  They understand history and what works in winning a war.  Those are characteristics in short supply in Washington today.  We have a President who so arrogant he doesn't even know how ignorant of history he is.  Many of the top civilians in the Pentagon as well as some of the to commanders also have a limited understanding of the history of warfare.

Either of these two would be an outstanding choice for Secretary of Defense.  They would certainly be better than Chuck Hagel who is apparently one of Obama's leading choices.

It would be nice to have someone who actually understands that the only way to defeat an enemy is to make him believe his cause is hopeless.  We have too many Democrats from the President on down who believe our cause if hopeless.  This leads him to want to only manage our defeat.


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