George Bush and his administration presented last year's attack on the Iraqi state as essential to the security of the American people. Removal of the former government was to improve our security with some gain to the Iraqis by deposing a tyrant and replacing his regime with a democracy.

The Bush administration has presented itself as a business-oriented administration with depth of practical managerial experience. In this context the military intervention in Iraq could be described as a major, if not the major, managerial project of this administration.

This project was reviewed by Larry Diamond, a Hoover Institute scholar who was appointed by Condoleezza Rice to work in Baghdad as a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority. His conclusions, as reported in an August 26, 2004, Manchester Guardian article by Simon Blumenthal ( "Iraq is now more dangerous to the US than when they went to war"), are: 1) there has been poor planning (e.g., no "what-if" scenarios regarding insurgents who are not "foreign terrorists;") 2) there has been poor execution of the civilian reconstruction; and 3) there has been very faulty use of funds (i.e., the flawed, if not corrupt, contracting process.)

So, in 2004, the American people are stuck with a project which daily is increasing in cost in terms of money and U.S. military lives lost (or irrevocably altered by wounds) without any realistic predictions for project completion. My conclusion is that, other considerations aside, the country needs to replace a management team which has failed to deliver.

HANK WERNER

Pendleton

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