Friday, September 29, 2006

The SecDef, replacing thereof, timeline involved

This is a personal outlook paper of The Jacksonian Party.

Now, after looking around at those folks with sour grapes about the conduct of the war in Iraq, especially those military officers who have retired so as to complain about things, a quick look at what it is, exactly, that would happen if you wanted the SecDef to be removed.

First, he is unlikely to resign on his own. He has stuck it out for nearly 6 years out of 8 and the only thing that would really cause him to move on is ill health. Apparently he is hale and hearty and up to the job, or so he believes. At least up to the kind of job he has done for six years.

Secondly, the President is unlikely to fire him. The *gross incompetence* charges from those who have left the armed forces have not resulted in a bloodbath of Americans, a liquidation of an entire Division, and a retreat before the enemy. He has led the DoD to victory in defeating the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and has had problems coping with the aftermath of both, but, as those critics so rightly point out, we have a Peace Time Economy and Outlook. The severe limits of providing things like: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and such other 'entitlements' eat up a huge part of the Federal Budget above ALL discretionary spending *including* the DoD. Frankly, I am all for a War Time Budget and axing those things and putting an immediate system of private payer healthcare in place. That part about "provide for the general welfare" does not mean getting a Welfare State, but that the Citizens find means and methods to provide for their own welfare and that the Federal Government is one of those methods. It is *not* the job of the Federal Government to *supply* those. So, if you want a War Time Budget, prepare to hear the screams of the sick and elderly that will have to decamp from the Federally subsidized system to a 'pay as you go' system. If you don't want that, then you are saying that the economy needs to be hamstrung by these things and STILL fight a full out war. To those in that latter category: so what's your REAL beef with the SecDef? You don't want to fight a REAL WAR.

Third, removal via Congress. Taking a look at the calendar and you can wait until early December and the 'Lame Duck' Congress to begin talking about it... and they will know the election returns. If the Democrats look to be taking a majority, they will not get anything STARTED until mid- to late-January 2007. Republicans, unless they become mightily irked at the SecDef, will ask: "What's the Beef?" So, to get rid of the SecDef via Congress you are hoping for a Democratic majority in the House.

Lets say that you folks get that! A working Democratic majority so that even a few defectors on the issue will not move the House from stopping proceedings. With that the Congress can ask for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the SecDef... and get some stonewalling in that asking... call it 3 months to get anywhere... April 2007 at the earliest. Now, the House can set up its OWN investigating Committee... which will take just about as long, what with all the political posturing by both sides, and amendments galore and so on. So, real investigations begin in May 2007 once the SP or Committee is finalized, stood up, staffed and so on.

Investigations will run over the summer with attendant leaks, finger pointing, accusations, distractions and general mayhem that is the normal part of the slow news cycle of summer in the Republic. Throw in summer vacations, Congressional Recesses, having to conduct investigations with much fanfare overseas... September 2007 for that to finish up. Findings by November 2007 and presented to the House in December 2007. Christmas Recess!


Congratulations, the clock has run out on replacing the SecDef via Congressional means unless a Deity or Deities or Werner Heisenberg pulls a fast one.

There you have it: if you want the SecDef to leave you had better ask him to or hope the President takes a sudden dislike to him.

And even if he *does* step down in December on his lonesome... a replacement has to be found, vetted, go through the Senate... hey, will it be a Republican majority Senate? So even if everything goes absolutely swimmingly and they can find someone competent and able enough to take the job for the remainder of the President's term, that individual will not get into office before May 2007 and need a few months BEYOND the transition time spent with the current SecDef to actually draft a new OPSPLAN. And the moment that is put in place, then the Summer of Political Theater over the plan can begin!

Oh, and good LUCK convincing a Democratic or Republican Congress to go for a *real* War Time Economy and Budget.

So, to those with sour grapes and venom towards the current SecDef: why is that you want to put Democrats in charge and ruin the military JUST LIKE AFTER VIETNAM?

Just asking.

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