I’ve just finished reading – again – Richard Rhodes’s Dark Sun. It’s a history of the next nuclear steps after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and how the hydrogen bomb came to be built, along with the spying and recriminations that took place during that period. Toward the end of the book, Rhodes describes the role that General Curtis LeMay, the first head of the Strategic Air Command, took on of his own volition – no orders from the top. LeMay had total control over the country’s nuclear arsenal. He didn’t think that a war with the Soviets would be a bad thing if we hit them hard and sent recon planes on provocative missions over the USSR – again, no orders from the top.
I come back to the computer to read about another general who thought it just fine to do things his own way, General David Petraeus, who invited two think-tankers to be his special advisors, and apparently never informed anyone above him. Two think-tankers, Fred and Kim Kagan, who are fond of war and more war and whose think-tanks are funded by defense contractors.
And it appears that nobody in Washington knew how Petraeus was being advised in Kabul. This is very hard to believe. The Kagans attended classified meetings and had the highest clearances.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot about this tomorrow. And probably after that, too.