From Glenn Greenwald (who follows up this post with one very accurately outlining the nepotism with which such characters, including President Bush himself, are dependent:
In a new jointly written Weekly Standard article, Fred Kagan, the AEI think tank military genius behind President Bush's "surge" strategy, and Bill Kristol, one of the Chief Propagandists behind this war from the start, condemn Democrats for daring to question the military judgment of Gen. Petraeus, who agrees with Kagan and Kristol that more troops are needed:
Why, above all, would [Sen. Clinton] or anyone else imagine that it is appropriate for a committee of 535 people to micromanage a war by setting a precise (and arbitrary) figure for the number of soldiers the commander on the spot can deploy?So only blind obedience to the decrees of Gen. Patraeus is acceptable because he is the commander on the ground and thus Knows Best. And, of course, unquestioningly cheering on the "surge" plan is the only thing which responsible, serious and patriotic people would do.
There is one man who should be recommending the size of American forces in Iraq, and that is the incoming commander, General Petraeus. Neither the Bush administration nor any collection of congressmen should preempt his professional evaluation of the situation and of the forces necessary to accomplish his mission. It is foolish and absurd for politicians to propose resolutions on American troop strength in Iraq before even hearing General Petraeus's voice in the debate. And when he has spoken, Senator Clinton and her colleagues should carefully weigh the burden they will take on themselves if they dismiss his advice.
[...]We have here the standard tactics of the warmonger -- namely, anyone who opposes Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan's latest video game fantasies are, by definition, unserious, irresponsible and want America to lose. But what is uniquely and appallingly dishonest about their new rhetoric tactic -- that we must all defer to the General -- is that Kristol and Kagan have spent the last two years, at least, insisting that Generals Casey and Abaziad, the commanders on the ground, had no idea what they were talking about because they resisted the neonconservative demands for escalation.
[...]UPDATE: Greg Djerejian deconstructs the incoherence and series of internal inconsistences in which Kagan's "surge" plan is grounded. What Djerejian really demonstrates is that treating Kagan's surge as some sort of "plan" to win the war is to give it far more credit than it deserves. None of the details or even "substance" of the plan matter. Its only real objective is to provide an excuse for continuing the war ("hey, we found a great new plan to succeed! You owe us a chance to try it") and, more importantly, to ensure that we continue to increase, rather than contract, our military presence in the Middle East. As long as that is achieved, nothing else matters, which is what accounts for Kagan's embrace of multiple contradicatory premises.