Skip to comments.Salute and Disobey?
Posted on 08/13/2007 11:46:18 AM PDT by bnelson44
Summary: Did the Bush administration disregard military expertise before the Iraq war? Should military leaders have done more to protest in response?
Michael Desch's "Bush and the Generals" (May/June 2007) contains significant errors of fact and interpretation. One of us, Richard Myers, has direct knowledge and personal experience with the subject; the other, Richard Kohn, has been studying and observing American civil-military relations for 45 years.
Bush administration officials did not, as Desch charges, "overrule" the military "on the number of troops to be sent" to Iraq or "the timing of ... deployment." Both were the result of over a year of questioning and discussion back and forth, and the final plan contained contingencies for different numbers of forces depending on the course of the campaign. To be sure, the combatant commander often found the probing and questioning of plans by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff distasteful. But in the end, all involved supported the final plan regardless of the disagreements along the way.
Contrary to Desch's interpretation, the Kosovo intervention in 1999 was not evidence of poor civil-military relations. The Joint Chiefs, the secretary of defense, and President Bill Clinton all agreed on limiting the application of force in Kosovo -- overruling the advice of General Wesley Clark, the supreme allied commander for Europe, as was legitimate in the civil-military relationship.
(Excerpt) Read more at foreignaffairs.org ...
ff Richard Myers is the former Joint Chiefs of Sta
Richard Myers is the former Joint Chiefs of Staff
Myers was only Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and in on every facet of the planning.
What does he know?
How dare he question a pundit who doesn’t know the difference between a lieutenant and a lieutenant general.
Regarding troop needs for Iraq. In Jan. 2003 after the fuss over Shinsecki saying we should have 350,000 troops, I asked my son who served in Gulf War 1 from August 9, 1990 to April 1991 how many troups we should have. Remember this was two months before the war started. He said we should have 450,000. This estimate was very close to the 1/2 million that Bremer (sp?) concluded we should have had after a year trying to run the place.
Subsequently, my son served with a special forces unit in Afghanistan, where he was thoroughly disgusted with failures and loss of momentum in that war theatre.
The President had to start the war that spring before the intense heat of summer began especially as we feared gas warfare and the need for protective (hot) suits. Otherwise he would have had to wait until fall which would have put the war too close to the 2004 election to be politically advisable. The result is that there was no time to build up to the necessary troop levels that many military men seemed to think were needed. The top military may have grumbled, but once the dye was cast they shut up and soldiered. Now we have to live (or die) with the results.
That is very interesting speculation, but you provide not references for it. Is it just that, speculation?
I or anyone else cannot fault the Bush Administration for the initial assaults on Afghanistan or Iraq. What we can fault them on is believing that the mission was complete.
If Clinton had not cut our 18 divisions down to 10, we would have had more troops available.
I think the logistical footprint of a much larger force would not have been sustainable. Recall that Saudi Arabian bases were not used this time ‘round. The entire invasion was staged out of Kuwait.
That said, it might have been possible to pour in reinforcements immediately after the invasion to prevent the escalation of the guerilla war. I say ‘might’ because our entire force is STILL dependent on a single supply route running from Kuwait. It’s the Old Saw that “amateurs study tactics & professionals study logistics”.
The mission was complete?? When was this announced???
I had the pleasure of briefing Gen Meyers on Missile Defense topics some years ago. He is sharp. Let’s see...trust the generals (who are far, far sharper than anything you see in the movies)...or trust a journalist.....hmmmmmmmm.
But he did, and I don’t think we had that many troops available for an extended deployment. Let alone the armor and WMD suits they would have needed.
Never announced but surely went into a PC mode of War.
When Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. RICHARD MEYERS was at the Pentagon he was a big supporter of a Presidential Medal of Freedom being awarded to:
The Man who predicted 9/11 =
9/11 Lifesaver RICK RESCORLA, ..R.I.P.
(The Rest of the Story)
And even with all that positive energy going for it ..a RICK RESCORLA Presidential Medal of Freedom Award process never got past the White House gate.
I remember the reports at the time.
I grabbed one off a search..
An important factor in U.S. war planners' decision making is the weather in the Iraqi desert. Temperatures there range from the 30s to the 60s now. But every day it gets warmer. By May, the highs can go into the 90s. Even in April, the temperature is in the 80s. That's not bad when you're in a cotton uniform and running around the desert, but if you have to put on a chemical/biological protective suit, it can suddenly be heavy, hot and stifling.
San Francisco Chronicle January 18, 2003 February in Iraq suits U.S. troops Cool days best if hot, heavy gear needed
The bill to form, fund, man, and equip the needed Divisions should have been pushed though Congress on 9/12/01.
President Bush could then have signed it on 9/13/01.
Those Divisions would by now be fully available.
An amendment to that bill could have closed and secured the border.
Rummy was also working on force re-structuring at the same time. Each heavy division was being transformed from 3 brigades plus an aviation brigade to 4 brigade combat teams plus an aviation brigade. I just think the inertia of the Pentagon got in the way of doing what you & I agree needed to be done.
The paradigm that still exists is the 1 Up, 2 Back Rotation. That is for every division, brigade (what have you) that gets deployed you have 2 back in their base areas (1 just returned, plus 1 getting ready to go). Unless somebody figures out that the soldiers are in for the duration plus 6 months (that would probably require a draft), then we'd need to raise 3 new divisions just to be able to deploy 1 additional division to Iraq.
I think we both know that the Democrats would never pay the tab for that kind of force expansion.
Let’s face it. Generals were carefully selected for their roles in this war by Rumsfeld and the Neocons. Rummy didn’t want Shinseki to have a major role in this war because of his belief in overpowering strength, therefore a need for 400,000 troops, a belief also held by General Powell. Shinseki was allowed to retire after being rebuked by the Neocons, Powell was put in the State Department. Rummy wanted generals running the war who were somewhat inexperienced and could be controlled by the 8,000 mile screwdriver in Washington. Clearly, the outcome of this war is in the lap of Rumsfeld.
Clearly you didn't read the article.
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