The Independent (London) reports on a leaked internal report from the Office of Secretary of Defense which finds that "endemic corruption, divisions within the military and troop shortages caused by the Iraq war" are to blame for the government's horrible response to Katrina:
The confidential report ... details how funds for flood control were diverted to other projects, desperately needed National Guards were stuck in Iraq and how military personnel had to "sneak off post" to help with relief efforts because their commander had refused permission.
Buried towards the end of the story is another interesting tidbit:
The President has indicated several times that he wants the US military to take a more active role in disaster management and humanitarian assistance.
Put aside, for the moment, the contradiction of hoping for such a role from armed service units that you've deployed to the breaking point across the globe. Is militarizing disaster relief such a hot idea? Why not expand the role of people trained in ... disaster management and humanitarian assistance?