"General Rumsfeld"
April 1, 2003 12:36 AM   Subscribe

"General Rumsfeld" “This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.”
posted by skallas (11 comments total)
Another great article by Hersh. Mickey Kaus has a theory on why Rumsfeld would want to deploy a smaller number of troops (scroll down to the entry for March 30.) It has to do with the grand neocon strategy for the Middle East which Josh Marshall recently wrote about.

This is also being discussed on WarFilter, btw.
posted by homunculus at 1:16 AM on April 1, 2003

If this article is true, it makes Rumsfield's claims that this is "Tommy Franks' War" particularly reprehensible.
posted by jpoulos at 7:38 AM on April 1, 2003

Rumsfield Rumsfeld
posted by jpoulos at 7:52 AM on April 1, 2003

Everytime I open a link in a new window, the new window is minimized. Why? Someone messing with my tip-fiddle?
posted by Mack Twain at 9:13 AM on April 1, 2003

Rumsfeld's Design for War Criticized on the Battlefield

...The comments echo the tension in the bumpy relationship between Mr. Rumsfeld and Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the Army chief of staff.

...But what pushed General Shinseki afoul of the civilian leadership before this war began were his comments on the levels of force that might be needed to stabilize Iraq after the battles were over.

Pressed by Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Shinseki, who commanded the NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia, said several hundred thousand troops could be needed.

"Wildly off the mark," was how Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, dismissed the Army chief's comments. Mr. Rumsfeld was a bit more circumspect in his criticism, saying that the general had a right to his opinion, but that this one would be proven wrong. Their public comments were unusual and were widely interpreted in Washington as a rebuke to General Shinseki, who is scheduled to retire in mid-June.

William L. Nash, a retired Army major general and veteran of the first gulf war and the Bosnia mission, said of General Shinseki, "He is as fine a soldier as I've ever served with, and his key characteristics are loyalty, and professional competence."

General Nash, currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, added, "It is extremely unfortunate that he has not had more influence on the war planning and the allocation of forces."

posted by y2karl at 9:45 AM on April 1, 2003

Next, Official: Iranian nuclear program on U.S. agenda

Bolton did not forecast when the administration believes Iran may be able to process fissile material for nuclear weapons, acknowledging that such estimates often prove inaccurate.

He said U.S. officials now view Iran and North Korea as equivalent threats, even amid evidence that North Korea may be only months from production of nuclear material for weapons.

"In the aftermath of Iraq, dealing with the Iranian nuclear weapons program will be of equal importance as dealing with the North Korean nuclear weapons program," Bolton said.

Bolton said a series of complicated emerging nuclear weapons threats might present themselves "simultaneously" to the White House once the Iraq campaign is over.

"This is going to be a substantial challenge," he said.

posted by y2karl at 10:02 AM on April 1, 2003

Why am I reminded of Operation Barbarossa? I don't think the final outcome will be the same, but I suspect a lot of useless deaths will occur on both sides as a civilian leader tells the military how to run a war.

Makes me wonder what America will be like Nov '04.
posted by infowar at 11:00 AM on April 1, 2003

Oh please, the US government can do no wrong. Get over it.
posted by dogmatic at 12:41 PM on April 1, 2003

That we do not now have enough troops on the ground is not important in terms of the outcome — we will win and depose the regime in Iraq. However, the concept of risk in a military operation is not solely about winning and losing, it is also about the cost. In this case, the cost will be measured in American lives.

When we are victorious and when we begin the more daunting challenge of the reconstruction of Iraq, I hope the Senate will again hold hearings. This time, perhaps, the senior military commanders and the civilian defense officials can testify as to exactly how the plan was conceived and developed. Then the American people will know, if belatedly, why we didn't send enough troops to begin with.

Why Aren't There Enough Troops in Iraq?
posted by y2karl at 11:01 PM on April 1, 2003

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