Generals attacking "Rummy" Rumsfeld

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by ClaireTalon, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. ClaireTalon

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    I spent the Easter Weekend away from news access in the Olympic Mountains, but yesterday found this highly interesting article in the news. Before I shoot my own opinion to it, maybe a few takes from others first.

     
  2. Dr Rock

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    not really anything one can add to that. it is, indeed, a shame - and i mean that in the literal sense of the word - that more staff officers who had misgivings (and i know there are plenty of them) did not raise their voices sooner. apart from anything else, it's a direct insult to the selfless dedication of the troops on the ground, too many of whom have lost their lives or health as a result of this gross betrayal of their trust.
     
  3. dong20

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    When I've had time to cogitate I'll try and make a more reasoned response but as a starter for ten:

    As a rule people don't start wars, politicians do. So how about compulsory enlistment and service on their own front line for those self serving politicians (and those members of their families eligible for military service) who start unnecessary (I know..define unecessary) wars for purely political ends without clear popular support. It prove a strong enough disincentive to starting senseless conflicts in the future.

    Some conflicts and miltitary actions are necessary but many, if not most are probably not. I know that is simplistic but in my experience so are many politicians :mad:
     
  4. Freddie53

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    All of this goes along with the messionic image of Bush who was planning contingency plans for a tactical nuclear strike against Iran. Rumsfield needs to go, along with Bush and Rice.

    There is an old saying that says that if the leaders who make war had to fight the war themselves, there would be less wars. A lot of truth to that.

    We definitely need new people planning and carrying out our policies in Iraq. People who's first priority is to stabilize Iraq and then get out. Not stay there is a war that has no exit strategy just so some people can make a lot of money on the war and oil.
     
  5. madame_zora

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    It seems clear that the purpose of war in Irag is civil unrest. How much easier could it be to pillage a country than to do it when they're stretched to their breaking point? All we need to is keep them there and the oil is ours.

    This is an insult to every man and woman who dedicate their lives to the belief in our government and political system. It's an insult to every child who grows up without a parent because they died for no reason. Meanwhile, while our people are over there giving their all for our country, our politicians back home are busying themselves cutting thier benefits, it's a disgrace.

    The shame is upon all of us, and it will take a long time to wipe ourselves clean. The point is, we have to start. It's just not good enough to point fingers and say what should have happened as if we ourselves were not a part of it. Every American, myself included, who did not storm the Whitehouse in protest is to blame. Every citizen who didn't write letters, gather names on petitions, attends rallies against the war and simply allowed this evil to creep across the screen is accountable. So we're guilty, all of us, and the world hates us for being lazy- they are right. Are we pissed enough yet? The next few months will tell a tale if we start ousting some of these criminals from our midst.
     
  6. solong

    solong New Member

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    We might consider the fact that there are literally thousands of retired generals in this country to date, and tens of thousands of flag officer retirees, and yet Zinni (who initiated this back-stabbing) could only find 5 or 6 cronies to come in with him? Interesting that the media, who traditionally ingores retired top military officers, were panting at the leash to milk any old summer soldier who would try to deep-six Rumsfeld, and yet not interview even ONE old retiree who disagrees.

    (Gosh, maybe they couldn't find one.... ya suppose?) Or instead, perhaps they are so filled with hate toward Rumsfeld they will do anything, including totally discredit their own honesty, by building up only the hateful old farts who are willing to doublecross their own units, two-time their own men and foul all their previous comments to the contrary-- JUST TO GET RUMMY!

    Major General Anthony Zinni was Clinton's Central Command Commander-in-Chief. That would be his CCCC, see? And since the late 90's, Zinni had this "great plan of his" to take Iraq. His plan was to use 3 times as many soldiers as we did, by the way! Well, as it turned out, Bush selected a Sec'y Defense that didn't much care for the political antics of Zinni, anyway. They were not "buds." And Zinni sat in, and presented his plan, and it was rejected! "The Perfect Plan," from the high and mighty El Zinni!

    Later, Zinni "Told on Rumsfeld in the Senate hearings. He told them all! They all learned that his perfect plan wasn't on the table anymore!" So when the American army's successes are summarily ignored by the press for the last 4 years, Zinni and these 5-6 other stooges decided they wopuld sponsor Colin Powell for president. Powell (we suspect) is writing his book, right now, and they would get on record as having opposed Rumsefeld from the start. That would give Powell a head start, politically.

    So you see, these guys are very small, insignificant fleas at Rumsfeld's ankles, and they made themselves that way. Rummy, in no way, has spoken ill of any of them, even though they led the charge.

    We are very lucky that these cheap-ass politicos and stuffed shirts cannot charge anything more than what they are charging right now, and the louder they get, the more they give away their position.

    One other thing should be observed by all: Their attempt to unseat Rummy has had the opposite effect. Instead of making his position shaky, it is so UNLIKE a great general to ever speak obliquely against his Commander-in-Chief's own top chosen man, that instead of hurting Rummy, they helped him. I therefore suspect that Anthony Zinni's "BIG PLAN" had about the same sort of pitfalls in it, all along. If his big plan to unseat Rummy strengthened Rummy and got his own ass kicked, then no wonder Rummy didn't have to say much about the real brains of this twit.
     
  7. rob_just_rob

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    Come to think of it, that's just what America needs... a good old coup d'etat, Central American style.

    I love irony.
     
  8. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    I woulda figured this group smarter.... like/dislike Bush or the Iraq situation... you just don't take quote from these guys and take them as doctrine...

    Let's see... Greg Newbold... hmmmm...Oh, he's a political appointee of Pres. Clinton. Hmmmm.... although he's not an ex-Dem ex-military pushing a book, at least be smart enough on his true intentions.

    I think JOURNALISM needs a serious disclosure act. We do it on the finance and investments side... we need, be it the AP, CBS, Fox, some disclosure either on the writer and/or subject.

    During the Clinton era, his administration would deny the entire list without explanation and submit his own names to Congress without the advice of the military. Now the ranks are flush with political Generals and Admirals. Shinseki, Newbold, Zinni, Fargo, and Clark are just a few political appointees of Clinton. Most if not all were not approved by the military leadership.

    Yet don't seem to get that disclosure on Mr Newbod. A smart and perhaps correct on many counts, but please ask yourself the true intentions of his rhetoric... regardless of where you stand.
     
  9. Dr Rock

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    um, i've been saying the same thing for the past 5 years, hero. as a former soldier i am already all too familiar with the hideous discrepancy between the forces' trust and their (bloated, political, civilian) masters' agendas. I don't need to hear some guilt-ridden desk-jockeys' long-overdue public confessions, but i think it might help with getting the attention of the ignorant masses.
     
  10. BobLeeSwagger

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    I don't think the media ignores old generals at all. Quite a few of them get time on TV being asked their opinion on this military matter or that. I've also seen pro-Rumsfeld retired officers on TV, because even if they don't like Rummy, most media outlets like to at least give the appearance of being even-handed.

    I think it's mostly a matter of ex-soldiers not wanting to criticize the president, which is what this is really about. The vast majority of soldiers take that seriously and wouldn't want to take it public. I believe them when they say there are others that don't want to speak out. But it's true that the media is presenting it as if there's some kind of major revolt, when it's really a handful of high-profile guys.

    And I think your mistaken when you say Rumsfeld has been strengthened by this. Many Republicans and Democrats have wanted him out for years. Bush is just falling on the sword for him.

    Lastly, what's really overblown is this "new" idea that the Pentagon has dissenters and squabbles. It's always been that way. A lot of people think that the generals and admirals are banded together in some kind of pro-war conspiracy, but most of them are jockeying for influence as often as not. One mark of a good, experienced soldier is that s/he doesn't like going to war, even though preparing for it is their job. If you meet a general that can't wait to bomb someone, walk in the other direction.
     
  11. solong

    solong New Member

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    aloofman,

    I think you are easily hoodwinked. let's stop and think for a minute about WHOM the networks hire as their experts," and what they want their experts to say. And, whatdoyaknow? Invariably, their experts say it! But for some reason, you have NEVER seen a Tommy Franks, or a Schwartzkopf, or any one of literally hundreds of you GOOD generals advising a network, have you?

    No. BUt you will find some pretty good communists on there-- like Westley Clark. He was a "TOP" retired US general, as he was billed by ABC, right? OH, yes he was.

    And yet they lied to you. Westley Clark was not retired. He was FIRED! That same man was Saddam Hussein's primary defense lawyer for over a year. Why? Because Westley is a card-carrying Communist.

    You really need to get your facts in had first, before you trust your "major" media and their "major" generals.

    No, in case you were just trying to buffalo us: Tell it to somebody who doesn't know any better, and who doesn't have any facts to back them up.
     
  12. solong

    solong New Member

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    One other fallacy I'd like to put to rest is this:

    "These are just old soldiers and most of them all disagree with the president but they don't want to say anything. They prefer to silently disagree with him. And the officers who are on active duty disagree with him too, but they can't say anything."

    This is so laughable it's pathetic. Whenever a high level conference is called about strategy or policy, or political inferences, or international relations, or an allies conference, etc. etc. you get every damned objection under the sun! If you want to hear a room-full of pissed-off generals and aides, sometime, you'll get it, there. Forget the movies for a minute. These guys have even stormed out of meetings before. But that's the kind of commitment that has ultimately made America great. The same tempers flew in the Continental Congress. But look what we ended up getting! And real leaders know that, and they know that whatever they want, they are going to have to fight for it.

    Now when the meeting is over, real men don't submarine their collegues and tattle to the press. The little peckerwoods who do that are in the same league with the whispering media crowd, who provoke a fight and then offer to hold the coats. These people are just trash. Their word is no good. They are liars. They even doctor video and photographs. I cannot tell you what loathing I have for media types who stoop to anything, and usually this.

    I have also found that people who know what is done, and condone it by saying, "If it bleeds, it leads," are just like them! They are the kind of people who would double-cross you at the drop of a hat.

    Now all this is absolutely true. But on the other hand, there is a perfectly acceptable way to disagree with policy and state it. Therte is absolutely nothing wrong for any retired general to disagree with a facet of the administration's policy on anything. Write a book, if you have to. But a real man makes the criticism positive. He doesn't say, "Bush is incompetent. Rummy's incompetent. Get rid of Rummy, and impeach Bush."

    He says, I disagree with "such and such" and here's why. And I think we could do it better if we do "thus and so," and also I think that the media has insulated the American public from any and all successes so far, in this operation, such as..... and then give your facts.

    Until we start hearing some facts, and not just a bunch of crap from a bunch of sore-head losers out there, no plans, just criticism, no positive comments, just negativism, then people who thrive on negative stuff pick up that ball, and the people who aren't fooled one bit are going to be shut out and you aren't going to hear them say a word in their own defense. Not because they can't, but because they are not being quoted, and they know as soon as they try, they will be contextualized, misquoted, and a bad picture put up.

    "When the wicked rise, a man is hidden."
     
  13. ClaireTalon

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    Whatever card someone is carrying, and which political party he favorizes or even has joined, the point is that there have been better strategic plans than the one the administration followed as the master plan for the Iraq invasion had been set up. Notice that none of the generals is opposing against the invasion itself, but they bare the fact that the force level was underestimated drastically. Now here we have a political tie-in, because a higher number of soldiers would have required a longer time of preparation, probably retreats from other involvements, and required a higher number of new recruits to be covered. To avoid these problems, the invasion was started with enough troops to defeat Iraq's army, but not enough to cover Iraq's territory with an efficient safety network. I agree with the point of the mistakes being made after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. It took days until attempts at quelling the civil riots and the looting were made, Iraqis were not allowed to turn to the authorities set up for administration, and to make the chaos complete, after some months the remains of Iraq's own police and army were decruited, while new police forces and a new army to take the place of the old forces did not exist.

    I can't imagine complaints like these haven't already been made by officers, field or staff. But ignoring them and other critics who point out flaws of the plans that have carried out calls for drastic measures. The only point that I could complain about is that these Generals didn't publicize their criticisms sooner. I think the way things would run was more than clear by August 03, latest. Was someone waiting to avoid forfeiting his career for some public attention?
     
  14. solong

    solong New Member

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    Claire,

    You said whatever card someone is carrying, they would have to admit there are better plans than this one (Iraq).

    OK then, I'm going to call your hand. Choosing any similar large scale military occupation like this to be fair, name just one, and tell us why you think it's much better than the Iraq occupation.
     
  15. solong

    solong New Member

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    Claire, before ypou reply to this, you might first check out this interview if Iraqi leaders at the Washington Press Club, jsut for starters. Remember, the questioners were trying to get the goods on this administration and frame Bush for incompetence, and instead, they got shown up as naysayers and practically called liars (politely, of course) by the guest.

    http://www.state.gov/e/rls/rm/2004/40312.htm

    But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the 101st Airborne Div. page sometime, and dozens of other sites which itemize the absolutely awesome changes made in Iraq so quickly that it eclipses the Allied reconstruction of Europe after the war, which was still going on in some quarters, 50 years later.

    Check out the reenlistment rate of all soldiers in Iraq, and find out that they are ONLY RE-UPPING, as long as they are promised to get sent right back to their own unit. How about that!

    Check out the many interviews with soldiers over there, sometime. Don't think you'll find the same esprit de corps in Somalia (Uh, that was Gen. Zinni's occupation, by the way).

    Did you know that the murder rate in (take one little example) Kansas City Missouri per 100,000 population during 2003 was greater than the American death toll in ALL of IRAQ during the same year? Did you know it is now about 5 times greater than all of Iraq? Did you know that despite occassional IED tragedies, the murder rate in Kansas City is climbing, 2005 being the highest so far, and the death toll in Iraq is so low that if any city in America had that same death rate by murders, they would be hailed as the safest city in the country? You can check this out at several sites listing Criminal Statistics and you can type in any city you are interested in, and compare it with any other city. Try Baghdad, some time. Compare it with, say, Miami, or Washington DC, or LA, or Chicago, or St. Louis. It's downright embarrassing. Make those comaprisons during the war, why don't you? You know, just to see how really bad it was, remembering that we are in peacetime, and they are in wartime. You'd think there would be NO COMPARISON at all, wouldn't you?

    Here's what you do. Take the total death toll of Americans in the entire country of Iraq, over the 4 years or whatever it is we've been over there. Then find a murder rate for a big American city like New York or Boston. It gives it to you per 100,000. multiply that by how many times 100,000 divides into their population. Then multiply that by the same number of years that we add up our dead in Iraq. You will find that it is so much less that you'll understand just one more reason why our soldiers want to go back. We've actually made it one of the safest places in the modern world.

    Just one more proof that all you ever hear is when a boy loses his life. You never hear the other side. You don't know what the hell is going on because it's blacked out!

    Now, I definitely still want to hear about that superior occupation plan you mentioned and who came up with it, and why it is so much better. I and everyone else agrees that we've made some blunders, but that's war, and as long as we're correcting our blunders, then we'll come out the winner.

    As one general said, "Every war plan is perfect until after the first minute it's executed."
     
  16. ClaireTalon

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    You have misunderstood me, solong. With "whatever card someone is carrying..." I was referring to his political tendencies, or membership of a political party.

    We are now almost four years into this war, 3 years, to be exact. After WW-II, this was the time when preparations for founding the republic were made, just to give you an example. Then again, comparing our occupation to others might be difficult, since we're moving on a territory now where we try to import political values and traditions completely new and unusual to the population, so I had been a bit disturbed when I had heard the news and was being told it would be easy to do this job. But, that's another story that we have already discussed profusely in the "Three years on" thread.

    So yeah, there have been changes, and improvements. But what do you say about the almost industrial organization of abductions there, where hostages meanwhile get to be "sold" from one group to another? Or about policemen who have problems defending their stations against attackers? And what is the matter with the infrastructure of the oil industry still not being more safe?

    Other recent studies show the living standards for Iraqis have declined, and now are even lower than they had been under Saddam Hussein.
     
  17. Matthew

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    I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.
     
  18. dong20

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    So what you are saying is that America is one of the most homicidal societies in the World? On the basis of your own argument then perhaps Americans should all move to Iraq where it's safer.

    Raw numbers only tell you part of the story, not least is the fact that (well the last time I walked the streets of a major US city) for the most part the citizenry where not driving round in armoured vehicles, wearing body armour and carrying an array of clearly visible offensive weaponry. That does tend to offer a disinsentive for someome to attack and kill someone because for example they wouldn't heat up their sandwiches to cite a recent macabre example.

    There have always been low background murder rates in Moslem countries (and those with effective gun control) typically 1 in 100000 and 0.4 per 100000 in Saudi Arabia for example.

    As most directed killing has been against US troops (I know I am ignoring the trend toward sectarian killings) What you really need to do is balance average US troop numbers as a percentage of Iraqi population; say 140000/26000000=0.54% before using the background rate as a smokescreen.

    US Troops killed since 2003 approx=2359/140000 =1865/1000000 or approx 421 times the average US rate and still over 23 times that of Gary Indiana where almost 80% of victims are black i.e. a targeted group. If you like I could remove initial combat casualties and rework or do the same for UK casualties but do you seriously think I need to?

    Still think Iraq is safe? Send us a postcard.
     
  19. solong

    solong New Member

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    Claire, you wrote this:

    "Whatever card someone is carrying, and which political party he favorizes or even has joined, the point is that there have been better strategic plans than the one the administration followed as the master plan for the Iraq invasion had been set up.."

    So IF there have been better strategic plans than the one the administration followed, then obviously you either know about it, or, you're just speaking rhetorically. So I'm not asking you something to embarrass you here. I'm just asking what plan do you have in mind? Whose plan was it? When was it put into operation, or who was responsible for stopping it?You notice, I don't make conversation with claims I can't back up.

    Now Mr. Dong, when I said that we have made Iraq safer than we are right here in the United States in any of our MAJOR cities, I meant that, and I am not using my powers of persuasion at all. I'm using the FBI's own crime statistics. I didn't make them up. They are NOT estimates. They are always just a tabulation. So when guys like Matthew ridicule that, it doesn't look bad for me. It looks kinda dumb on Matthew, though. But then, I understand, Matthew, why you wouldn't choose to believe it. That's what personal opinions are for, isn't it, Matthew? They really come in handy in discussions like this, don't they? (DUH!)

    Now granted, there are still Baathists in Iraq, being supplied by Iran with IED's and there are still brain-dead idiots willing to make themselves a human bomb, who have nothing else to live for. But Baghdad is a city of 5.5 million people. If you took the American death toll for last year for the entire nation of Iraq and compared that to St. Louis, Missouri for instance, you arrive at a figure that is probably 3 times more dangerous in St. Louis than in Baghdad. But that isn't fair, because we are talking about every city, town and province in Iraq and comparing that to just ONE American City.

    Surely you'd see what looks like a genuine war death toll! But no. Our own peacetime death tolls are far worse!

    I live in a small town and last night on our evening news was a typical report of two more murders here. Night before last we had one and several woundings. Night before that was muggings and a firefight outside a bar, etc. etc. and one person murdered, for sure. In a town of 440,000, we had 130 murders last year. That's 29.54 murders/100,000 population. Now let's translate that to Baghdad. In order to just keep up with our small town rate here, we would have had to lose, in just ONE YEAR'S TIME, in Baghdad, 1625 Americans to equal the same murder rate that we have right here on a regularly monthly basis. I don't see the media blowing their stacks over us!

    However, that isn't fair, because our military are scattered all over Iraq. So were you to do it right, and extrapolate the 29.54 murders/100,000 throughout the nation of Iraq, instead of just concentrating them all in one small area, you'd get a true picture, and you'd see then that if Iraq claims 55 million population for instance (hypothetical), we would by now have counted 16,250 bodybags coming home, PER YEAR! That would be our home town murder rate-- no more or less.

    Can't you get your mind around this, yet?

    So, frankly, Dong, I don't see your point, but if you can multiply, using the FBI's own figures for murder throughout the United States, then you have to see mine. I made my point with the simplest of tools. Arithmetic. And so far, not one person has challenged it (They don't like it! They grumble. They try to dismiss it. They run and hide, but they don't win, do they?) So how about getting on the stick now you guys, and get out your big guns, and show me where I'm all wet! I'd enjoy it.

    I just love it when I'm right. Nobody can do anything about the facts. But you gotta be careful where you get your (so-called) "facts." I am using proven death toll by murders. I don't want to see some liberal whack-job's assertions because I won't even reply to that. I want to see hard evidence, like I've given you.
     
  20. solong

    solong New Member

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    You will NEVER see this in your paper, or even an offhand comment in the news. They blacked this out because they are untrustworthy and want you to get only one side of the story. But if you really want the rest of the story, read it. (solong)

    By MICHAEL DeLONG (Deputy Chief to Rumsfeld, ret.)
    Tampa, Fla.

    AS the No. 2 general at United States Central Command from the Sept. 11 attacks through the Iraq war, I was the daily "answer man" to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. I briefed him twice a day; few people had as much interaction with him as I did during those two years. In light of the recent calls for his resignation by several retired generals, I would like to set the record straight on what he was really like to work with.

    When I was at Centcom, the people who needed to have access to Secretary Rumsfeld got it, and he carefully listened to our arguments. That is not to say that he is not tough in terms of his convictions (he is) or that he will make it easy on you (he will not). If you approach him unprepared, or if you don't have the full courage of your convictions, he will not give you the time of day.

    Mr. Rumsfeld does not give in easily in disagreements, either, and he will always force you to argue your point thoroughly. This can be tough for some people to deal with. I witnessed many heated but professional conversations between my immediate commander, Gen. Tommy Franks, and Mr. Rumsfeld — but the secretary always deferred to the general on war-fighting issues.
    Ultimately, I believe that a tough defense secretary makes commanders tougher in their convictions. Was Donald Rumsfeld a micromanager? Yes. Did he want to be involved in all of the decisions? Yes. But Mr. Rumsfeld never told people in the field what to do. It all went through General Franks.
    Mr. Rumsfeld did not like waste, which caused some grumbling among the military leadership even before 9/11. He knew that many of the operational plans we had on the books dated back to the 1990's (some even to the late 80's), and he wanted them updated for an era of a more streamlined, technological force. He asked us all: "Can we do it better, and can we do it with fewer people?"

    Sometimes General Franks and I answered yes, other times we answered no. When we said no, there was a discussion; but when we told him what we truly needed, we got it. I never saw him endangering troops by insisting on replacing manpower with technology. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, we always got what we, the commanders, thought we needed.

    This is why the much-repeated claims that Mr. Rumsfeld didn't "give us enough troops" in Iraq ring hollow. First, such criticisms ignore that the agreed-upon plan was for a lightning operation into Baghdad. In addition, logistically it would have been well nigh impossible to bring many more soldiers through the bottleneck in Kuwait. And doing so would have carried its own risk: you cannot sustain a fighting force of 300,000 or 500,000 men for long, and it would have left us with few reserves, putting our troops at risk in other parts of the world. Given our plan, we thought we had the right number of troops to accomplish our mission.

    The outcome and ramifications of a war, however, are impossible to predict. Saddam Hussein had twice opened his jails, flooding the streets with criminals. The Iraqi police walked out of their uniforms in the face of the invasion, compounding domestic chaos. We did not expect these developments.

    We also — collectively — made some decisions in the wake of the war that could have been better. We banned the entire Baath Party, which ended up slowing reconstruction (we should probably have banned only high-level officials); we dissolved the entire Iraqi Army (we probably should have retained a small cadre help to rebuild it more quickly). We relied too much on the supposed expertise of the Iraqi exiles like Ahmad Chalabi who assured us that once Saddam Hussein was gone, Sunni Arabs, Shiites and Kurds would unite in harmony.

    But that doesn't mean that a "What's next?" plan didn't exist. It did; it was known as Phase IV of the overall operation. General Franks drafted it and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department and all members of the Cabinet had input. It was thoroughly "war-gamed" by the Joint Chiefs.

    Thus, for distinguished officers to step forward and, in retrospect, pin blame on one person is wrong. And when they do so in a time of war, the rest of the world watches.
     
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