WASHINGTON - The White House wants to appoint a high-profile overseer to manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but has had trouble finding someone to take the job, the Washington Post reported.
At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have turned down the position. The war "czar" would report directly to United States President George W. Bush and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and would have authority to issue directions to the Pentagon and the State Department.
Retired Marine General John "Jack" Sheehan, a former top Nato commander, was among those who rejected the job. "The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," Sheehan told the Post. He said he believes that Vice-President Dick Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the Administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq.
Retired Army General Jack Keane and retired Air Force General Joseph Ralston were also approached and said they were not interested in the position. Ralston declined to comment while Keane confirmed he turned it down, the Post said.