Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Retired generals and the SECDEF...another round?

Retired Major General John Batiste wrote a gues essay that appeared in today’s online version of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Sometimes it’s tough to figure out who should be accountable after the fact, especially on something as uncertain as strategy. I wasn’t in the room when the strategy for Iraq was being formed, but I’m sure that the strategy was debated back and forth. I’m sure that camps were formed and arguments were presented both in the formal setting and in numerous hallway and email conversations.

I don’t know General Batiste, never served with him, and have heard lots of good things about him. I absolutely believe that anything he said was said in full good faith that it was the right thing for our country.

I would love to see more clarification on what exactly keeps the argument from being, “your mistake was in not listening to me”. It’s easier to say, “I knew this would happen” than it is to say, “here’s exactly why anyone would have expected this to happen”.

In any case, it doesn’t look like the debate will be over anytime soon.

To win in Iraq, war on terror, U.S. needs new defense chief

John Batiste

Guest essayist

(May 23, 2006) — The war in Iraq was started by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his inner circle who "knew everything," except how to win.Winning in war is an absolute and there is no substitute for victory. Americans go to war to win.

Driven by his contemptuous attitude, dismissiveness and arrogance, the defense secretary built a war plan that violated the principles of war. What should have been a deliberate victory is now a protracted challenge. He is responsible for America and her allies going to war with the wrong plan, setting the conditions for Abu Ghraib that fueled the insurgency and disbanding Iraqi security force institutions when we needed them most. The effort in Iraq has never recovered.

Our secretary of defense does not know how to win...

Read the full article here...


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Barb said...

Gee - I didn't get the impression of 'dismissiveness' regarding Secy Rumsfeld in Gen. Franks' book. So I guess, again, that it depend whose ideas are adopted, and whose are "dismissed". Gee - it's not as if every plan is adopted, now, is it?


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