This is the only way to resolve the continual cross-cutting issues that arise in complex civil-military operations in a fluid, rapidly changing security situation. Coordination alone will absolutely not achieve timely, sensitive and effective decision-making. In the absence of one authority decisions will languish, be compromised or move to Washington for endless debate. Split authority will invite Iraqi politicians to play the seams in our decision making-structure. The resulting slowness and likelihood of inconsistent decisions will not only undercut results on the ground, but will confuse our policy message to regional powers and western allies alike, and reinforce the existing regional suspicions of our competence. This, in turn, will weaken regional and allied support that is essential if we are not to carry the full burden of war alone.This proposal turns upside-down how we routinely do business. The president, acting through the National Security Council and the interagency process (including Gen. John Allen in his new role as envoy to the crisis) must approve an overall strategy and plan for Iraq and monitor the successful implementation of that plan. But tight Washington tactical control of decisions in the field of the sort so beloved by bureaucratic Washington departments and power centers will cripple effective conduct of the policy and reaching American goals. It is time for better way. We believe we have one.