Bush names war czar for Iraq, Afghanistan

Anxious to show progress to a war-weary US, President George W. Bush is hoping a military leader with proven organizational skills can make the government's vast bureaucracy march in step in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush's selection of Lieutenant General Douglas Lute as war czar does not bring the promise of a change in policy, speedier progress or an end to the fighting for US troops. Instead, he is billed as a bureaucracy buster.

He also was a skeptic of sending more troops to Iraq as Bush decided to do. Lute made sure that National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley knew he had expressed doubts about the buildup, but that Lute now believes it is the correct strategy, NSC spokesman Gorden Johndroe said.

Nothing is more important, Bush said on Tuesday in announcing Lute's nomination, than getting the commanders and ambassadors in the war zones what they need.

"Douglas Lute can make sure that happens quickly and reliably," Bush said.

Lute's appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Lute, 54, is the latest new face on the Iraq front. He is the Pentagon's director of operations and a former leader of US military forces in the Middle East.

Lute's job at the White House will be to work through conflicts among the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies. He will seek to cut through bureaucracy and deliver fast responses when requests come in from US military commanders and ambassadors.

In the newly created job, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, maintaining his military status and rank as a three-star Army general. That, by design, gives the White House a high-level point person on the wars.

Source: China Daily/agencies

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