Army chief attacks US over Iraq

Do you agree with General Jackson's assessment of the US handling of the Iraq invasion?

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#1
Army chief attacks US over Iraq
Daily Telegraph
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General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the British Army during the invasion of Iraq, has launched a scathing attack on the United States for the way it handled the post-war administration of the country.

The former chief of the general staff said the approach taken by Donald Rumsfeld, the then US defence secretary, was "intellectually bankrupt", describing his claim that US forces "don't do nation-building" as "nonsensical".

Sir Mike's comments - made in his forthcoming autobiography Soldier, serialised exclusively in The Daily Telegraph - represent the most outspoken criticism of American military policy in Iraq to come from a senior British officer.

His attack - the first time he has revealed the depth of his anger towards the US administration - highlights the deep-seated tension between the British command and the Pentagon during the build-up to and the aftermath of the Iraq campaign in 2003.

Sir Mike, who took command of the British Army one month before US-led forces invaded Iraq, said Mr Rumsfeld was "one of those most responsible for the current situation in Iraq".

Crucially, the general writes, he refused to deploy enough troops to maintain law and order after the collapse of Saddam's regime, and discarded detailed plans for the post-conflict administration of Iraq that had been drawn up by the US State Department.

In the book, Sir Mike says he believes the entire US approach to tackling global terrorism is "inadequate" because it relies too heavily on military power at the expense of nation-building and diplomacy.

His outspoken remarks are likely to increase tensions between the British and US military over policy in Iraq.

Last month American officials claimed that British forces had been defeated in Basra and had surrendered control of Iraq's second city to lawless militias and criminal gangs.

Speaking on the eve of the book's publication, Sir Mike last night defended the record of Britain's military deployment in Basra.

"I don't think that's a fair assessment at all," he said of claims made by American officials that UK forces had failed.

"What has happened in the south, as throughout the rest of Iraq, was that primary responsibility for security would be handed to the Iraqis once the Iraqi authorities and the coalition were satisfied that their state of training and development was appropriate.

"In the south we had responsibility for four provinces. Three of these have been handed over in accordance with that strategy. It remains just in Basra for that to happen."
 
#2
First of all let's ask ourselves: is the American failure in Iraq strategical one or a result of tactical mistakes? Namely the strategy was wrong. And in this context tactical mistakes are irrelevant. It is possible that other tactical decisions would be even more disastrous.
 
#3
I am sorry to have to say, but if Mike Jackson felt so strongly why did he wait until he could get his book out to provide his views?

Why did he not resign in protest while still in the job and by so doing red flag something was very wrong in a way no one else was in a position to do?
 

conco

Old-Salt
#4
Was it something to do with Knighthoods, money, money or was it something to do with money. Sir Mike opened his mouth only when he was on the way out and could not be kicked out without pension and benefits.
He did alot of good but why must management only say things that the polititions want to hear before they get out????
I would have thought that if he has risen to that position as the head of the Armed Forces Tony should have listened to him! Or is it as per normal we just do the dirty work for our shilling?
 
#5
conco said:
Was it something to do with Knighthoods, money, money or was it something to do with money. Sir Mike opened his mouth only when he was on the way out and could not be kicked out without pension and benefits.
He did alot of good but why must management only say things that the polititions want to hear before they get out????
I would have thought that if he has risen to that position as the head of the Armed Forces Tony should have listened to him! Or is it as per normal we just do the dirty work for our shilling?
Maybe he kept his gob shut so he could try and influence things from the inside. We all know that if CDS were to resign there would be a media storm for a couple of days and that would be about it. It would make absolutely no difference to this government whose arrogance continues to amaze me, though not as much as the gullible British public though who seem to endorse this arrogance by letting a multitude of sins pass by without holding them to account. The public would be more interested in the next series of Hells Kitchen than the resignation of the head of the armed forces. IMHO.
 
#6
sc_obvious said:
We all know that if CDS were to resign there would be a media storm for a couple of days and that would be about it. It would make absolutely no difference to this government
And even less to the Septics, who are who Jacko seems to be fundamentally blaming for the major mistakes. Incidentally, Mike Rose gives a fairly similar explanation in his book "Washington's War".
 
#7
toadinthehole said:
I am sorry to have to say, but if Mike Jackson felt so strongly why did he wait until he could get his book out to provide his views?

Why did he not resign in protest while still in the job and by so doing red flag something was very wrong in a way no one else was in a position to do?
Probably because as such a senior figure, a high level message like that whould severely embarass both the British and the American Governments. It would have been interpreted as a hugely political act by someone who is supposed to be enntirely apolitical.

Jackson's lne is entirely consistent with the insider views revealed in Bob Woodward's trilogy about the war.
 

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