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Fred Kaplan has a great column today about President Bush's fruitless search for a "war czar"--fruitless because no one, not even the architect of the "surge", wants the job. There's a long tradition of presidents looking for a czar to bustle in and save the day when an issue becomes intractable, but as Kaplan notes, it never works. Drug czars, inflation czars, failures all. The problems tend to be too big for one person to fix, especially when that person has no power to change what are essentially failed policies. And, this time it's doubly ridiculous given that Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, already has the job that a hypothetical "war czar" would have.

Update: Ah. Turns out the "war czar" was Newt Gingrich's idea. Evidently, the "slowness and ineffectiveness of the American bureaucracy" is one of the main things standing in the way of "victory" in Iraq. Who knew?

--Bradford Plumer