Bush's new 'war czar' (What happened to Chain of Command?
Tue May 15, 2007 18:13

Originally posted: May 15, 2007
Bush's new 'war czar'

Posted by Mark Silva at 4:30 pm CDT

President Bush's trip to the Pentagon last week turns out to have been more productive than it appeared at the time: The president has found in Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that new "war czar'' he has been seeking to oversee the military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lute will serve as assistant to the president and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan Policy and Implementation, according to the National Security Council. In that role at the NSC, he will replace a civilian stepping aside, Meghan O'Sullivan, to return to private life.

Bush spent two hours at the Pentagon last week meeting with the secretary of defense and military leaders. For a new assistant specializing in the wars and national security issues related to Iraq and Afghanistan for his national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, the president has tapped from the Pentagon staff a battle-trained academician who has years of experience in executive commands of military operations.

Lute, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy
at West Point who holds a master's degree from Harvard, fought during Operation Desert Storm and served as director of operations for the Central Command in 2004 overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has taught at West Point and been director of operations for the Joint Chiefs since September 2006.

In 1990-91 he fought in the Gulf War. He commanded the First Squadron of the 7th Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas from 1992-94, and served on the Joint Chiefs Staff in the Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy.

From 1998-2000, he commanded the Second Cavalry Regiment of the 18th Airborne Corps, at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and served as executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for 14 months before joining the First Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany, as the Assistant Division Commander. He commanded the Multi-national Brigade East in Kosovo for xis months in 2002 before being assigned to US European Command in January 2003 as the Deputy Director of Operations.

In June 2004, he began more than two years as Director of Operations at US Central Command, overseeing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa.


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