I like the opening phrase in the article, given that it is being written in a widely-read news source: “The Pentagon has drafted a secret plan. . .”.
Secondly what is the pentagon doing coming up with such battle plans and
then trying to get white house approval? This stinks of the tail trying to wag
They’re saying that the White House told the Pentagon to come up with a plan in the first place.
All in all, I’m not seeing anything mysterious or surprising here. The executive branch saw the need for a plan regarding foreign policy, which is in the executive branch’s jurisdiction. They pass on the information to the Department of Defense, who would be one of the organisations suited to coming up with a plan in the situation. The DoD is supposed to get permission from the White House to have its plans enacted, though, and that is what they tried to do. And the White House apparently feels that the plans that the DoD came up with might not be the best thing to do. Everything seems to be following proper channels and going the way that it is supposed to. Just because the DoD comes up with a plan that can be enacted doesn’t mean that it should be enacted.