What's a War Czar?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute conducts a Pentagon briefing in February, 2007. The White House has named Lute a war czar to coordinate operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pending Senate approval. Helene C. Stikkel/DoD via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Helene C. Stikkel/DoD via Getty Images

The White House has named Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute a war czar to coordinate operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pending Senate approval. But there are questions about what his new job entails. Guests explain where exactly a war czar fits in the chain of command.

Army Maj. Gen. Mike Davidson (Ret), former Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Guard Matters

Leon Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton; former member of the United States House of Representatives (D-CA); founder and director of the Panetta Institute

Nancy Soderberg, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in the Clinton administration; visiting distinguished scholar at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville

Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar (Ret), former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command; commanded U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf

David Gergen, former White House Adviser to Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton; director for the Center of Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

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