Lute to Coordinate U.S. Government Efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 16, 2007 President Bush’s nominee to coordinate efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan will work to overcome shortcomings in coordination among agencies.
Army Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the director of operations at the Joint Staff, will work to focus U.S. government assets to better support multifocused efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today. Lute will help manage the flow of issues, questions and activities from commanders and ambassadors in Iraq and Afghanistan to policy makers in Washington and will work to speed this process.
Lute will assist in the “rapid coordination of shortcomings that are identified, resources that are needed,” Whitman said. “(He will ensure) that all the resources of the United States government are brought to bear on our current situation in those two conflicts.”
Bush announced yesterday that he had selected Lute to be the assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan.
While Lute will be responsible for policy coordination, orders for military commands will continue to go through the normal chain of command, Whitman said. The chain of command runs from the president to the defense secretary to the combatant commanders.
The press has dubbed Lute’s position the “war czar.” He will be the full-time manager for implementation and execution of U.S. strategies and policies for Iraq and Afghanistan. He will be able to reach out from his position to coordinate the overall effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. This entails all agencies of the U.S. government that are contributing personnel, expertise and resources, Whitman said.
The general will have the authority he needs to give policy direction to others in the government, Whitman added.
President Bush has nominated Lute for reappointment at the grade of lieutenant general for the new post. Lute must go through Senate confirmation before taking on his new duties.