State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III (英語) ハードカバー – 2006/9/30
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本書『State of Denial』では、ブッシュ政権がなぜ、国民や連邦議会、そして時には内輪の関係者にまで、イラク問題の真相を告げなかったかについて検証している。5月の報告の2日後、ペンタゴンは議会に対して法的な文書で、続いているテロ行為や活動は、2007年初頭には衰退しはじめるだろう、と発表した。
戦争で疲弊したホワイトハウスの内部事情を詳細に明かした本書の中で、著者ボブ・ウッドワードは、ホワイトハウスの主席補佐官アンドリュー・カードが、他の高官の間接的な協力を受けながら、国防長官ドナルド・ラムズフェルドを更迭しようとした18か月を追っている。結局は大統領とチェイニー副大統領がこれを拒んだ。ブッシュ政権第2期の初めに、コンドリーザ・ライスの後任として国家安全保障担当大統領補佐官となったスティーブン・ハドリーは、ブッシュ政権の政策実施について Dマイナス という評価を下した。新しく国務長官になったライスに参事が宛てた極秘文書には、侵攻して2年でイラクは破綻国家になったと書かれていた。
『State of Denial』では次のような核心の問いに答えている。イラク侵攻の後に何が起こったのか？ なぜ起こったのか？ ブッシュはどのように決断を下し、大統領として選択した戦争をどのように考え、管理しているのか？ 勝利のための現実的な計画はあるのか？ ボブ・ウッドワードがブッシュ大統領について書いた3作目となる本書では、大統領選立候補を真剣に考え始めた初期のことから、国家安全保障問題担当者の人選、アフガニスタンとの戦争、イラクに対する侵攻と占領、第2期における政治的な混迷の様子などを、大胆に語っている。ウッドワードは30年にわたって、米国の国防政策について報告しており ――アフガニスタンとイラクでの戦争について記した『Bush at War』2002年（邦訳『ブッシュの戦争』）、『Plan of Attack』2004年（邦訳『攻撃計画』）などは全米でベストセラーとなった―― それらを踏まえた本作では、ブッシュ、チェイニー、ラムズフェルド、ライス、そして他のホワイトハウスのメンバーが歩んできた道を詳細に解説している。
"Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current level of violence through the next year.'' This was the secret Pentagon assessment sent to the White House in May 2006. The forecast of a more violent 2007 in Iraq contradicted the repeated optimistic statements of President Bush, including one, two days earlier, when he said we were at a ''turning point" that history would mark as the time "the forces of terror began their long retreat." State of Denial examines how the Bush administration avoided telling the truth about Iraq to the public, to Congress, and often to themselves. Two days after the May report, the Pentagon told Congress, in a report required by law, that the "appeal and motivation for continued violent action will begin to wane in early 2007." In this detailed inside story of a war-torn White House, Bob Woodward reveals how White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, with the indirect support of other high officials, tried for 18 months to get Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld replaced. The president and Vice President Cheney refused. At the beginning of Bush's second term, Stephen Hadley, who replaced Condoleezza Rice as national security adviser, gave the administration a 'D minus' on implementing its policies. A secret report to the new Secretary of State Rice from her counselor stated that, nearly two years after the invasion, Iraq was a "failed state." The book reveals that at the urging of Cheney and Rumsfeld, the most frequent outside visitor and Iraq adviser to President Bush is former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who, haunted still by the loss in Vietnam, emerges as a hidden and potent voice. Woodward reveals that the secretary of defense himself believes that the system of coordination among departments and agencies is broken, and in a secret May 1, 2006 memo Rumsfeld stated, that "the current system of government makes competence next to impossible." State of Denial answers the core questions: What happened after the invasion of Iraq? Why? How does Bush make decisions and manage a war that he chose to define his presidency? And is there an achievable plan for victory?商品の説明をすべて表示する
Woodward had several targets in this book. The first one is George W. Bush, who is characterized as being satisfied with the direction of foreign affairs and plays the role of cheerleader. Throughout the book I grew more anxious about whether anybody can truly communicate with Bush. One would hope the president listens to advisors, experts in different matters, as nobody knows everything and we all rely on others in this way. There just didn't seem to be evidence that Bush listens to others, although we can't know without being able to observe Bush in person.
The second target is Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld seems to be very smart, self-confident and hard-working. He also is clearly a micromanager. Micromanaging the Pentagon is an impossible thing to do. It's too large and diverse. What went lacking is focused management of the war. This was extremely unfair to the volunteer troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I kept wishing if only the late Colonel David Hackworth could be put into the mix of war leaders. Hackworth was famous for being a great warrior, leader and having utmost concern for the fighting troops.
There are several third echelon targets. An interesting one is Condoleezza Rice. Rice also worked hard as did Rumsfeld. The work ethic and the brains were there. But being George Bush's friend was apparently more important to Rice than playing the role of National Security Advisor, leaving the country with nobody identifiable to give unpopular advice to the president. I felt the tragedy here yet we have to acknowledge that many countries have a nepotism system that precludes the kind of checks and balances that we used to take for granted. I felt that Rice could have been working in her capacity for a country with a dictatorship. Still, I have to allow the possibly that the greater tragedy put me in this frame of mind.
It occurred to me that Woodward has quite a staff. I can't imagine one man producing this set of books all by himself. There is simply too much research for one journalist to do solo. I'm glad also to live in a country where critical expressions such as this are possible.
How was this actually a new strategy? Bob Woodward clearly delineates that it is a radical change in strategy. Prior to that point there was no strategy. Ground Commanders sought to help the Iraqis in their specific areas; theater commanders thought in terms of global issues; the NSC was kept out of the loop by the Secretary of Defense who reminded everybody again and again that he was in the chain of command they were not; the SecDef then ignored his own position in the chain of command when it might look bad on him; and, finally, the President and his War Cabinet refused to accept that the war was going poorly. They were in a "state of denial."
George Bush's denial is a bit frightening. While not in the book I recall him bragging in the '04 debates that he thought about the war "every single day!" Like I am supposed to be impressed with that. The President is the commander-in-chief and declared himself in Woodward's Plan of Attack as a "wartime President." In this work the President's style of deferring again and again to the SecDef and his commanders shows how hands off he his and how he cannot know what's going on without delving into specifics. While some can be faulted for delving too much (read- Jimmy Carter), to ignore facts is what Woodward describes as a State of Denial.
While George W. Bush may be the second worst President in recent memory, he is not the antagonist of this work. Donald Rumsfeld fits the classic mold of "all the power, none of the responsibility." He could easily be confused with my old boss who once told me I'd been filling out a form wrong "for years." (A form she would not let me send without her prior review and approval.) Rumsfeld spoke of being the top man and being in the chain of command and then deferring to his generals. He opening declares at the end of the book that he is not a military commander! He says the choice to go in with so few troops was not his choice but General Franks!
While this is terrible and horrible and not only bad for business but killing tons of young Americans and innocent Iraqis, it is not what I found the worst of things. During Hurricane Katrina, the President had his chief of staff, Andy Card, call Rumsfeld to call out the Louisiana National Guard. This was in the early morning. Rumsfeld refused, using the excuse of chain of command. Apparently in this instance only the President could ask him to do that. The President only was able to handle this by mid afternoon. The fact of the matter is that not only did Rumsfeld care not for the lives of innocent Iraqis or even American troops (sending them to the theatre without proper equipment or mission) he callously ignored the pleas of American civilians trapped in the sinking Mississippi Delta.
Andy Card, Jay Garner and David Kay all come out looking like the heroes of this book. They saw missions and goals going wrong and attempted to facilitate a change: Card through interoffice diplomacy, Garner through the chain of command (guess where that broke down) and Kay through straight talk to both Congress and the President.
Yet the President and his War Cabinet again and again refused to accept the facts as shown by reports and judgments of independent staff. Thus, it created a complete mess. It was a mess without a strategy for victory or for withdrawal. Thus, the surge is a new strategy, because anything is different than nothing.
I give this work only four stars out of five, but still place it in MUST READ!