… is that it’s being guided in part by people who are still wet behind the ears. Look at this fluffy puff-piece in the Washington Post about “Generation X” staffers at the NSC:
At the NSC, staffers said the gap is most noticeable when their boss, National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, recounts his years as an arms control negotiator during the Cold War. “We’re like ‘Arms control, what’s that?'” said Michael Allen, Hadley’s special assistant for legislative affairs.
Flippancy aside, do these thirtysomething wonkers possess wisdom beyond their years? Not exactly:
For many of the generals with whom O’Sullivan consults in her current job, the painful experience of Vietnam permeates their thinking on Iraq. Not for O’Sullivan. “We are the first post-Vietnam generation, without the baggage of Vietnam, which doesn’t mean we don’t try to learn some of the lessons from there about counterinsurgency and so forth, but it’s not my first frame of reference and I think that’s a good thing,” said O’Sullivan.
Same goes for Afghanistan, where she and her team guide policy as the United States seeks to stabilize the friendly government of President Hamid Karzai installed after the fall of the Taliban. “If your frame of reference is the Soviet invasion and how they got bogged down, then I think you’d be very modest about what could be achieved in Afghanistan,” O’Sullivan said. “That’s not how I see it. I see an end of Taliban rule and a nascent democracy.
We’re not dealing with a young George Kennan here. Nor in the case of this gal: “Michelle Malvesti … became a terrorism analyst on a lark that same year with the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency. Now Zarate, 34 and Malvesti, 35, coordinate the administration’s plan for fighting what Bush calls the ‘war on terrorism.'” That has to be the best news Osama bin Laden has heard all year.
I hope there’s more to these tyro Wolfowitzes than this silly Post article suggests.