Tuesday, November 16, 2004

More on Colin Powell resignation

Slate's Fred Caplan:Why Powell Had To Go - And how will Condi fare as his successor?

Looks at why Powell had to go, even if he didn't want to (he did, badly) and why he didn't resign or wasn't fired earlier. More importantly, Caplan considers what the future holds for Condi Rice:

The good news: Rice is among Bush's closest advisers, so foreign leaders will at least know that her words reflect the views of the president. Her appointment may also provide, at least in the short term, a morale boost among foreign service officers—a note of compensation for the departure of their cherished Powell that the State Department is now run by someone who has the president's ear and trust.

The bad news: In her four years as national security adviser, Rice has displayed no imagination as a foreign-policy thinker. She was terrible—one of the worst national security advisers ever—as a coordinator of policy advice. And to the extent she found herself engaged in bureaucratic warfare, she was almost always outgunned by Vice President Dick Cheney or Rumsfeld. Last year, for instance, the White House issued a directive putting her in charge of policy on Iraqi reconstruction; the directive was ignored. If Rumsfeld and his E-Ring gang survive the Cabinet shake-up, Rice may wind up every bit as flummoxed as her predecessor.

Previously: Colin Powell resigns

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