State-Defense Rivalry Hinders US Fight Against ISIL

Posted May 22, 2015 at 5:00am

David Ignatius : “The United States…is afflicted with its own internecine quarrels that impede effective action in Iraq. These are mundane turf battles among different branches of government, rather than sectarian feuds, but they’ve hindered the U.S. campaign. This is the kind of interagency tension — State Department vs. Pentagon with a cautious White House in the middle — that’s all too familiar in Washington. But it has to stop.”  

“Obama decided to base his “presidential envoy” at the State Department, rather than the White House. That was an attempt to placate a turf-conscious Pentagon and avoid a policy czar who would bulldoze opposition, like a reborn Richard Holbrooke. But it was a mistake, which from the start impeded coordination of policy… The point is that the president has to appoint someone to coordinate this fight and install that person at the White House with authority to speak for the administration.”