Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee

4.14.2006

More generals want Rumsfeld fired

That makes a total of six gernals who have now publicly called on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni told CNN Rumsfeld should be held responsible for a series of blunders, starting with "throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq."

The spreading challenge to the Pentagon's civilian leadership included criticism from some recently retired senior officers directly involved in the Iraq war and its planning.

Six retired generals have now called for Rumsfeld to step down, including two who spoke out on Thursday.

"I really believe that we need a new secretary of defense because Secretary Rumsfeld carries way too much baggage with him," said retired Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, who led the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq.

"Specifically, I feel he has micromanaged the generals who are leading our forces," he told CNN.

Retired Major Gen. John Riggs told National Public Radio that Rumsfeld had helped create an atmosphere of "arrogance" among the Pentagon's top civilian leadership.

"They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda. I think that's a mistake, and that's why I think he should resign," Riggs said.

3 Comments:

At 4/14/2006 03:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why I support Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense

Donald Rumsfeld should absolutely stay as the Secretary of Defense. I know there is a generating debate on whether Rumsfeld should or should not resign. Part of this is politically motivated and some philosophically motivated and rightly so. It is true mistakes have been made in Iraq. It is true that Donald Rumsfeld is in charge and therefore some responsibility for the successes as well as mistakes fall in his lap. However, let me tell you why Rumsfeld should not be fired.

First, Secretary Rumsfeld is and is known by many national security intellectuals and senior military officials to be the brightest and most capable man ever to serve as Secretary of Defense. He truly is a remarkable man and a beautiful mind. Any so-called mistakes Rumsfeld has made would likely have been made by another Secretary of Defense with regard to the aftermath of the Iraq war.

Second, the debate as to whether there were enough troops forged by the two military thought camps (the Shinseki-Franks groups), the arguments are often misconstrued. Rumsfeld and the new defense intellectuals arguing for new and bold execution, that is, a more network-centric and information-age execution of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, proved to be right in their assessment of the “number of troops” needed to defeat Saddam’s regime. This campaign was done with astonishing speed, agility, and complexity and historically speaking is one of the greatest victories in military history. It will prove to be a defining moment of warfare in the 21st century by all standards.

However, the second half of the war, that is, the rebuilding and reconstruction of the country proved to not be sufficiently nor correctly planned and prepared for. This second half could have benefited from either more troops (U.S. or coalition) or another force type the Pentagon (or other agency) has not invested sufficiently in (troops designed, trained and equipped to rapidly help stabilize and rebuild a country). This second half did not have sufficient numbers or capability because of some assumptions based on intelligence which proved to be incorrect, and the robust insurgency which emerged (arguably somewhat the result of decisions made to disband the Iraqi Army). This decision as well as the many other decisions may have allowed the insurgency to take hold easier than it otherwise would have. And these decisions rest squarely with officials in charge of the war, including Rumsfeld. However, the decision to not disband the Iraqi Army also would have had its consequences, and persons making these decisions had to look at differing views of intelligence to make their decision. Hindsight is 20/20. Rumsfeld should be graded on his prosecution of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom (which includes the brilliantly successful initial campaign to topple Saddam, the aftermath of reconstruction, and the third “war” of fighting terrorists and a robust insurgency). In all accounts he has done wonders with one of the most different and complex Global wars ever to be waged.

Finally, as to running the Department and transforming the military to tackle new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities – he should be commended. While there is not yet a large camp among the general public who understand what is happening among the Department of Defense and national security apparatus at large, the changes that are taking place as a result of Rumsfeld vision and leadership will radically transform the way the Department of Defense plans and conducts war in the future. Without these bold and innovative changes the new challenges in transitioning from the industrial-age to the information-age would not be matched. The 21st century security environment is different and is changing at a rapid pace. Rumsfeld understands this and the new opportunities which must be harnessed to deal with these complex and adaptive challenges. He understands we will be fighting rapidly adaptive networks taking advantaged of globalization and the internet to do their harm. He understands the current organization and makeup of the Department of Defense and national security apparatus at large is insufficient to face these new and adaptive challenges.

There are still some defense intellectuals and Generals out there who do not yet understand these challenges and are resistant to change, but there days are numbered. Many of these Generals who demand Rumsfeld should resign are old-fashioned and still caught up in the industrial-age Cold War mentality. They do not understand the information-age and the new ways of operating. We should respect their opinions but also listen to the new breed of warriors being generated today who understand this well and are emboldened by Rumsfeld’s grand vision for change which will help secure generations to come. I highly support Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. I welcome your thoughts and commentary.

 
At 4/14/2006 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Anonymous (if that is your real name),

It's amusing how you assume "the second half of the war, that is, the rebuilding and reconstruction of the country proved to not be sufficiently nor correctly planned and prepared for."

A primary reason people are calling for Rummy's ouster is because he ignored all the planning that was done prior to the war. The quote from Gen. Zinni points that out:

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni told CNN Rumsfeld should be held responsible for a series of blunders, starting with "throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq."

Additionally, they ignored the State Department's Future of Iraq project.

There were plenty of people who knew what we were getting into. Unfortunately, we had a bunch of hawks who didn't care, and wanted to go into Iraq because they could. They were going to go in regardless of what the intelligence said, and increasingly we're learning just how much the administration cherry picked what they liked and ignored the facts which contradicted their claims on Iraq's weapons capabilities.

 
At 4/14/2006 11:12:00 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

Blahblahblah. Talking for a page-and-a-half doesn't make you right, "anonymous" tool for the right.

We needed more boots on the ground to reestablish infra- and soft-structure post-war. We knew that for 10 years.

We got a civilian suit who changed the plan despite preexisting and well-vetted Iraq invasion doctrine, trying to keep troop numbers down to avoid political backlash going into an election cycle.

We got 125K. We needed 250K or more. And people are still dying, two Marines today.

If you're going to fight arbitrary wars in the name of energy interests (no WMD, no Al Quaeda... well, now there is) then take responsibility for it.

Furthermore, I think it's hilarious that a goose-stepping, double-speaking Rove-ophile like yourself can support the administration that brought us the jingoist cacophony justifying an Iraq invasion with lies of WMD and terrorist ties, then argue the finer points of a war plan that has existed for over a decade.

You're a hypocrite and a liar.

 

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