Von Rumsfelds job on the line?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Apr 14, 2006.

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  1. Will Dr Strangelove need to find a new job soon? These are no "hippie peaceniks" or "pinko Democrats" attacking Rummy!

    What would be the effect on morale and public opinion if any possible military action against Iran heightened the tension?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1753854,00.html

     
  2. Funny, these brave generals only tend to criticize after they've left the army and have their pensions/ medals/ book deals.

    I'll take it more seriously when the serving brass start putting their papers in.
     
  3. Very true! Perhaps much of the anger is due to the fact that the Generals did their job in Iraq (the military campaign was a success, after all) and others messed it up.

    Will the generals - serving and retired - be happy to let Rummy ruin another operation, after his handling of Iraq? There were plenty of voices in the Pentagon rubbishing the "Iraq lite" plan and they have been proven correct.

    I disagree with the use of force against Iran (on another thread) but it is clear that, if force is used:

    a. The US armed forces (etc) will plan it and execute it to the best of their abilities;

    b. Rummy and his chums will do their level best to screw it up by ignoring their concerns.
     
  4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4908948.stm

    More voices are raised. If our retired commanders were calling for the head of our Secretary of State (as they should have over TCH) then a lot of eyebrows would be raised amongst those in uniform.

    Removal of Rummy may be a credibility test required for the morale of the US Armed Forces to demonstrate that lessons from Iraq have in fact been learned by the shaved chimp prior to any Iran venture.

     
  5. I think it boils down to the basic ethos that when you're in uniform you make your criticisms privately and drive on like a good soldier regardless. It's what we expect of privates and NCOs, should be expected of general ranks as well. When you're a civvy you can say whatever the hell you want.

    Regarding your point on 'putting papers in' it makes me wonder what the backstory is on their leaving the services is. As an aside, a detachment from my company (Army) with worked with Zinni--a Marine--in Somalia and came away with a very high opinion of the man.
     
  6. Bush Says Rumsfeld Has "My Full Support":

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060414/pl_nm/bush_rumsfeld_dc_2

    Gentlemen, please have your stopwatches at the ready... ;)

    What's being reported now is consistent with everything I've been hearing from friends and associates in Washington for almost 4 years. Almost everyone with stars on their shoulder thought Iraq was going to be a Cake and Arrse Party from the word go. (Somalia x 1000 was the preferred expression in 2002).

    There was an excellent article in The New Yorker by George Packer (The Assassin's Gate) earlier this month, that deals with Rumsfeld's flat refusal to call the insurgency an insurgency. People like HR McMaster, have argued that this leads to a doctrinal failure to regognise the nature of what they're facing. To borrow McMaster's thesis from his book Dereliction of Duty (which dealt with Vietnam), the tendency towards attritional warfare reflects an absence of strategy. Any progress in the hearts and mind area, has been a result of the initiative of individual unit commanders and thus any progress they have made (such as the 3rd ACR calming things down in Tal Afar) has been piecemeal and fleeting once units that do have a feel for what's going on are rotated out.

    It was interesting to note that copies of Brigadier Nigel Alwyn-Foster's article in Military Review, which caused so much controversy last year because it was so scathing of the US's "cultural ineptitude in fighting the insurgency", were sent- on the instructions of the Army Chief of Staff- to every general in the US Army. There's a great line in the Packer article, a quote from Aylwin-Foster, that basically sums it up nicely for anyone that has had to deal with the spams in almost any capacity:

    I suppose a good example that Packer gives in this regard is the Civil Affairs Officer (a Major) who, when asked by Packer, had to look in a handbook to find out what the names of the local tribes were.
     
  7. Sadly its all about politics and payback. Some of those making comments are:

    MG[ret] Paul Eaton - after screwing up the infantry center was sent to Iraq to train the new Army. After Iraqi units melted down at Falluja he was sent home and we had to start over.

    MG[ret] Charles Swannock, CG 82d Abn - got in trouble with misappropriation of MWR funds and sexual conduct with an enlisted female.

    MG[ret] John Riggs, was demoted from LTG and retired as a MG after contracting irregularities were found by the IG and to make matters worse he made a speech against orders supporting the commanche after the decision was made to cancel the program.
     
  8. So it's all about payback, T6? What about John Batiste?

    Might there not be an element of "payback" for Ms Rice's recent remarks conceding "tactical errors" in Iraq, interpreted in some circles as "blame the military not the Administration"?
     
  9. What surprised me was Batiste was getting into politics where officer's should fear to tread, not to mention making comments that are punishable under the UCMJ, retired or not.
     
  10. T6:

    Punishable remarks by John Batiste in his Jim Lehrer interview?
     
  11. I'm going to resist focusing on another attempt at a smear campaign by the right and just ask the following question:

    Were any of them a co-instigator of a conspiracy to decieve the American and World public to justify a botched course of action that has thus far led to the deaths of 50,000-odd people, a $300bn dollar (and counting) bill for the US taxpayer and a burgeoning civil war?

    A sense of perspective may be in order, T6. Just because they are not whiter than the Virgin Mary, it doesn't mean they don't have a point.
     
  12. As military officer's it is our job to follow policy set by the civilian leadership. We don't make policy. From my standpoint the policy has been successful, a tyrant was overthrown and the middle east is in transformation, something that cannot be said before 2003. I am familiar with many of these general's. I retired earlier this year. One of the lesson's any general officer should have learned is to stay in one's lane - politics and policy is not what we know. We do know how to wage war and we do that well. Criticizing the policy makers in the long run provides aid and comfort to the enemy who cannot beat us on the battlefield.

    I do not like some of the organizational changes that have taken place since 2003. The Army organization that won OIF in 2003 is gone.
    In a way we have gone back to the 50's era Pentomic organization which was abandoned because it lacked combat power, trigger pullers ect. In time I think this organization will be modified or abandoned too. The military strucutre that has stood us in good stead since WW2 has had staying power for a reason - it could be easily modified to fit the mission or war.

    Getting back to Batiste. From the Washington Post:

    "[Retired Army MG John] Batiste said he believes that the administration's handling of the Iraq war has violated fundamental military principles, such as unity of command and unity of effort. In other interviews, Batiste has said he thinks the violation of another military principle -- ensuring there are enough forces -- helped create the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal by putting too much responsibility on incompetent officers and undertrained troops."

    From FM 100-5

    Unity of command obtains that unity of effort which is essential to the decisive application of full combat power of the available forces. Unity of effort is furthered by full cooperation between elements of the command.

    This concept has been a major principle since Julius Caesar. Rumsfeld has modified this tenet allowing for commanders to operate independently and on their own initiative, rather than have the theater commander micro manage their subordinates as happened in Vietnam. Rumsfeld thinks that the Sgt, Lt , Captain or Battalion CO on the ground has a better grasp of the situation than a general 100 miles away. This allows for a unit to respond rapidly to the tactics of the enemy. No more waiting for higher to approve an operation.

    Batiste talked about "not enough forces" which was a reference to the so called Powell Doctrine. Rumsfeld/Bush believe this doctrine is out dated. In Desert Storm it took 500,000 troops to drive the Iraqi's out of Kuwait, OIF was done with less than 200,000 - would have been 220,000 if the Turks had let us deploy the 4ID.

    Rumsfeld believes that in modern war the smaller the footprint the better. Batiste disagree's and retired, as it should be. Today's technology allows for tremendous force multipliers that few enemies can match. The speed with which we can transmit information on the battlefield is just amazing. This gives us an agility that the enemy cannot match. In effect the whining we see in the media are from "yesterday's" generals. The brigade commanders in OIF are BG's. The Assistant Division Commanders are now MG's. The two LTG's that led OIF are General's one commands US Army Europe and the other TRADOC - training/doctrine command. The officer's and NCO's that have OIF/OEF experience will make the US Army a better army with combat experience that will stand us in good stead for the forseeable future, much as the Vietnam era officers/NCO's did before them. The one big difference is that this combat experience now permeates our reserve forces where entire units went into theater. Combat experience saves lives both now and in the future.
     
  13. I took part in the offensive as part of a Army unit assigned to the 1st MARDIV. A minority perhaps, like Shinseki and a few Army and Marine generals in 3rd ID and 1st MARDIV didn't quite share that view if I recall.

    Thanks for the New Yorker lead, I'll dig it up. I served with McMaster (2nd ACR) in the first Gulf War for only three months. I may have wrote this before, but he did something I'll never forget; when a Republican Guard unit was virtually surrounded and forced to dismount he stopped his Cav Troop from firing, called on my PSYOP team to get them to surrender because he simply didn't think one more Iraqi soldier needed to die. Not many leaders have that presence of mind during the heat of combat.

    The article contained more praise for the US Army than criticism, but the criticism it held was very insightful.

    Well Christ, I spent months with tribal and civic leaders in Najaf, Karbala, Al Hilla, Al Kut, Ad Diwaniyah, Samiwa and Nasiriya. Working at it for months, 7 days a week, I still needed a chart and notebook to follow who was who, who hated who, what tribe was where and which tribes didn't get along. The officer may have only been there a short time or may have been moved there recently. I'm off to dig up a copy of that New Yorker article.
     
  14. Isn't this a bit of a "swift-boating" of these guys? We seem to be good at eating our own when they don't tow the party line. It doesn't necessarily follow that their experiences and talents are negated or their opinions are wrong. Let's face it Rumsfeld made a lot of f-ups, ignored advice, cherry-picked commanders who were favorable and went against a lot of the brass. He left himself open to criticism from higher-ups and is reaping what he sowed I think.
     
  15. Rummy getting the boot? If only. Having visited one sandpit full of lunatics, I have no wich to get my office moved 200 km East just to prove a point of some egotistic wxxxer.