Paul Krugman comprehensively bags Cheney in the New York Times today. On the war? No, on his energy policy, although Krugman makes the point that in war as on energy the Bush administration suffers 'incestuous amplification.
One answer is that Mr. Cheney made sure that his task force included only like-minded men: as far as we can tell, he didn't consult with anyone except energy executives. So the task force was subject to what military types call "incestuous amplification," defined by Jane's Defense Weekly as "a condition in warfare where one only listens to those who are already in lock-step agreement, reinforcing set beliefs and creating a situation ripe for miscalculation."
Today's papers are full of reports about incestuous amplification in the Pentagon as the reason for the failed strategy that is costing coalition and Iraqi lives. Perhaps if Bush, Cheney or Wolfowitz had served in the various wars they have supported they might have taken the making of this war as more than an exercise in spin.
Perhaps if the Australian government had a higher war aim than maintaining the US alliance at all costs we might be able to take their support for the troops as more than an exercise in spin.