Metric System

On Oct. 1, his first full day on the job, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace issued an 11-page guidance document to his subordinates. As my colleague Jason Sherman reports, Pace asked a few pointed questions about the administration's war on terror:

We are now four years into this campaign and should ask ourselves if the changes we have made to date are achieving the necessary effects, Pace writes. What additional changes are needed? Is the level of effort reflected in the level of return? How do we measure our progress?
Sound familiar?rumsfeldpace.jpgIt should. William Arkin, in his Washington Post blog, noted this week that the Pentagon has issued a solicitation asking for "contracted advisory and assistance services" to develop "a system of metrics to accurately assess U.S. progress in the War on Terrorism, identify critical issues hindering progress and develop, and track action plans to resolve the issues identified."This, Arkin writes, evokes an infamous Donald Rumsfeld memo issued almost a year ago, in which the defense secretary asked direct questions about whether the United States was succeeding in the war on terror -- and called for "metrics" to help find out.The president, of course, made things sound pretty good yesterday. He must have different metrics.-- Posted by Dan Dupont
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