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Wolfowitz Contradicts Shinseki over Iraqi Occupation
STRATFOR ^ | Feb 28, 2003 | Staff

Posted on 02/28/2003 8:29:04 AM PST by Axion

Wolfowitz Contradicts Shinseki over Iraqi Occupation
Feb 28, 2003

Summary

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Erik Shinseki said Feb. 25 that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed in Iraq following a war. However, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz contradicted that statement on Feb. 27, saying Shinseki's estimates were "wildly off the mark." When two important figures like this contradict each other, it always has strategic significance.

Analysis

An interesting fight has broken out over the U.S. Army chief of staff's contention that Iraq would be occupied by hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops following a war. Gen. Erik Shinseki made that statement Feb. 25 at a Congressional hearing, without any immediate contradictions. Then, at hearings on Feb. 27, Democrats began attacking Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on the question of the war's cost -- at which point Wolfowitz broke with Shinseki, saying that his estimate was "wildly off the mark" and that the actual number of occupation forces would be closer to 100,000 troops.

The debate over the cost of the war is not particularly interesting. The Democrats know perfectly well that the cost of the war depends on how long the war lasts, how hard the fighting is and so on. Since no one knows that, a definitive answer is impossible. At the same time, the Bush administration has run the numbers along several contingencies and know more than officials want to tell Congress. Both sides are playing dumber than they are. It is wearying, but not important.

A split within the Defense Department on the scope of the occupation, however, is important. Shinseki is a careful man: He did not become chief of staff of the Army by casually throwing numbers around Congressional hearings, nor was his statement, widely circulated, immediately repudiated by civilian defense officials. From the evidence, it is clear to us that Shinseki was expressing defense policy as he knew it -- and the Army chief of staff, charged with personnel planning, certainly would have to be in the loop on a long-term deployment issue of that magnitude.

That make Wolfowitz's statement hard to fathom. Wolfowitz is also a careful man who knows these things will come back to bite him. Even under pressure from Congressmen looking to score points, Wolfowitz is not one to leave the Army chief of staff looking like a liar or fool, nor is he likely simply to buckle under hard questioning. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the Army plan and the plan of the Office of the Secretary of Defense seem to be off by a couple of hundred thousand troops -- a large part of the U.S. Army.

We suspect that the explanation for this mismatch lies in the definition of the term "occupying forces." Strictly speaking, occupying force are those charged with maintaining order and providing services in an occupied country. Troops in Kuwait, for example, are not occupying forces. They are based in Kuwait, but their mission is outside of the country; so, there can be troops occupying Iraq and troops based in Iraq and the missions are completely different.

If the Stratfor theory on the long-term U.S. strategy in Iraq is correct, U.S. troops will have two roles to play there. There will be an occupation force charged with managing Iraq's internal security and other issues. There also will be other troops based in Iraq -- not reporting to the occupation commander, but reporting to a war-fighting commander whose primary responsibility will be for operations outside of Iraq.

From Shinseki's point of view, looking at the aggregate numbers, the part of the U.S. Army that he will have to carve out of his manpower pool will run to the hundreds of thousands, and they will be eating their meals in Iraq. From a technical point of view, calling them occupying forces is "wildly inaccurate" because only a hundred thousand will be busy occupying the country while the rest will have other missions. From Wolfowitz's point of view as a strategic planner, it is that force that represents the striking power.

None of this is, of course, as innocent as it appears. Wolfowitz -- and President George W. Bush -- simply don't want to lay the long-term cards on the table at this time. They would rather be accused of attacking Iraq without reason than being viewed as being engaged in a long-term, well-thought-out campaign against other countries in the region. They certainly don't want to express the strategy during a cat fight with congressional Democrats.

All of this points at a core problem. The Bush administration's desire to make Iraq appear a stand-alone operation, without any strategic purpose behind getting rid of a very bad man, is highly vulnerable to attack from many directions. It's only virtue is that it keeps the administration from getting involved in complex questions that can complicate the war. It also makes officials look -- at one and the same time -- simplistic, devious and incompetent. When the deputy secretary of defense and the chief of staff of the Army cannot, within 48 hours of each other, provide Congress with consistent information -- and Wolfowitz must cover the strategy by making Shinseki look like he doesn't know what he is doing -- the situation is getting out of hand.

Once the war is concluded, if it is concluded well, these contradictions will be forgotten and the next strategic steps will unfold -- or so the administration's theory goes. That may be correct, and indeed, much of this is simply Washington chatter, of no consequence outside of Washington. Nevertheless, the intense strains of unarticulated strategic plans are showing.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: warlist
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1 posted on 02/28/2003 8:29:04 AM PST by Axion
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To: Axion
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Erik Shinseki

My question is why is that jerk still in there? He should have been booted for the morale assault he mounted with his beret nonsense, not to mention the money wasted on it as well as the money that went to China for berets.
2 posted on 02/28/2003 8:36:29 AM PST by Bigg Red (God help us all.)
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To: Axion
Isn't Shinseki the same guy who order a million berets for the US Army....all made in Red China?
3 posted on 02/28/2003 8:37:55 AM PST by ken5050
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To: Axion
Shinseki should just pass out magic black berets to all Iraqis....
If can turn ordinary boys and girls into an "elite" fighting force without effort..
Maybe it can turn Iarqis into "nice guys"
4 posted on 02/28/2003 8:41:22 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: Axion
Shinseki should just pass out magic black berets to all Iraqis....
If can turn ordinary boys and girls into an "elite" fighting force without effort..
Maybe it can turn Iarqis into "nice guys"
5 posted on 02/28/2003 8:42:20 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: Axion
Shinseki got there the old fashioned way, on his kneepads. Bush and Rummy better have a talk with the perfumed princes as to just who is in charge.
6 posted on 02/28/2003 8:42:45 AM PST by cynicom
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To: Axion
Clintonite Shinseki.
7 posted on 02/28/2003 8:46:02 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Axion; Bigg Red
Just a couple of random thoughts on this:

- Gen Shinseki has been a lame duck for just about a year now. His replacement, the serving Vice Chief, was tapped to replace him an unheard of lead time of 14 or 15 months. I believe Shinseki leaves in June or July.

- The descrepancy in numbers for an eventual occupying force begs for Sec Def Rummy and/or Sec Army White to step in and clear things up. If they don't step in, I'd have to say the whole thing is an example of planned confusion or just plain old disinformation.

Hello, Bigg Red

8 posted on 02/28/2003 8:47:28 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: onedoug
Yeah, that's right. Whenever anyone contradicts the sunny, rosy view of the coming "build democracy" occupation in Iraq, smear him! Criticism is unpatriotic!
9 posted on 02/28/2003 8:50:21 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Axion
As much as I hate the Berets, let us not forget that that Wolfowitz has absolutely ZERO military experience yet he talks like he's George S. Patton. He has absolutely no business publicly questioning Shenseki in such an important issue, it sends a terrible message to the troops.

Wolfwitz hid in college instead of going to Vietnam, and he's been a career bureaucrat ever since. Shinseki, on the other hand, graduated from the USMA and performed two combat tours in Vietnam, one as a forward artillery observer.

Wolfowitz's comments to Shinseki should consist of "no sir" and "yes sir"

10 posted on 02/28/2003 8:52:05 AM PST by stimpyone
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To: Axion
The words and their definitions are important. In 1983, the USS New Jersey was shelling positions in the Shouf Mountains in Lebanon. The Pentagon was asked if the Battleship was firing in direct support our allies (militia). The answer was a "No". They could say this because the misssion of the New Jersey was "General Support".

Semper Fi,
11 posted on 02/28/2003 8:54:47 AM PST by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar
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To: stimpyone; Captain Kirk
bttt...
12 posted on 02/28/2003 8:54:52 AM PST by RCW2001 (We come in Peace but shoot to kill...)
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To: Axion
Shinseki is near retirement. Let him go off into the sunset with a few chinese made berets to keep him company.

His is the one who has been feeding bullcrap to Hackworth.

13 posted on 02/28/2003 9:03:06 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: stimpyone
May I remind you that the military SERVES the civilian in our goverment!
14 posted on 02/28/2003 9:05:49 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: stimpyone
Shinseki used up his credibility with me a long time ago. Any clown who was promoted to such a high rank during an administration watched over by Klintoon and Hitllary is, IMHO, *highly* suspect. Look to the clown Wesley "Perfumed Prince" Clark if you need any example of what I mean.

Combat per se insures no one bit of credibility... just experience. We don't know what decisions this guy MADE UNDER COMBAT. Just 'being there' is not enough...

15 posted on 02/28/2003 9:19:25 AM PST by chilepepper
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To: OldFriend
You've got the wrong Pollack. Kashveili (or something similar) was Clinton's Joint Chief.
16 posted on 02/28/2003 9:27:24 AM PST by meenie
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To: OldFriend
Your conclusion is---what?
17 posted on 02/28/2003 9:31:03 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Axion
From: Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability with Afghan President Karzai 2/27/03

Rumsfeld: He was asked, I believe, in a Senate hearing what the magnitude of the Army's force requirement for occupation of Iraq would be following the war. And he responded something like that; that he said he didn't know. And then they said, well, do you have a range? And so then he said, well, several hundred thousand, roughly what it would take to win the war. Something like that, I think.

The fact of the matter is the answer to the question that was posed to him is not knowable. We have no idea how long the war will last. We don't know to what extent there may or may not be weapons of mass destruction used. We don't know -- have any idea whether or not there would be ethnic strife. We don't know exactly how long it would take to find weapons of mass destruction and destroy them -- those sites. There are so many variables that it is not knowable.

However, I will say this; what is, I think, reasonably certain is the idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces I think is far from the mark. The reality is that we already have a number of countries that have offered to participate with their forces in stabilization activities, in the event force has to be used.

Second, it's not logical to me that it would take as many forces to win the war -- following the conflict as it would to win the war.

So I can assure you that there are so many variables that it's not possible to come out with a point answer to the question. You'd have to first say: If you assume this, this or this with respect to the variables, how many other forces are going to be participating besides ours? Until someone decides that there has to be a conflict and that the conflict's over, you're not going to know the answer to that question. So it's simply not knowable.

And I will say that I do think that any idea that it's several hundred thousand over any sustained period is simply not the case.

18 posted on 02/28/2003 9:33:40 AM PST by Hipixs
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To: OldFriend
Oh I'm well aware of who serves who - but when a draft dodger like Wolfowitz publicly criticizes a warrior like Shinseki, we've got some serious problems on our hands. Let Wolfwowitz survive Ranger school and then he'll be able to shoot his mouth off.
19 posted on 02/28/2003 9:33:51 AM PST by stimpyone
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To: OldFriend; stimpyone; Fred Mertz; sauropod; rightwing2
The military does work for the civlian sector. However one would expect the civilian sector to at least have enough common sense to listen to the military. I do not necessarily agree with all Shenseki has done administratively (berets and Stryker) but when it comes to being a tactician he is hard to beat. Which would you rather have a general who is good tactically or one who screws up administration? If I was on the ground I know which one I would rather have.
20 posted on 02/28/2003 9:37:38 AM PST by SLB
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To: chilepepper
Any clown who was promoted to such a high rank during an administration watched over by Klintoon and Hitllary is, IMHO, *highly* suspect.

Um, Gen. Tommy Franks, who will lead the invasion of Iraq, was promoted 4 star general and assigned to be commander in chief of U.S. Central Command in June of 2000.

21 posted on 02/28/2003 9:39:41 AM PST by stimpyone
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To: Axion
As can be seen in the below quotes from the article the issue is in semantics between Shinseki and Wolfowitz but the big story is that while the world is focused on Iraq the US is planning to use force elsewhere in the region. Wolfowitz's emphises on those large forces not being in Iraq as occupiers but for further deployment, this gives weight to the president's speech the other night how the world is on notice that they will have to reshape their governments, foreign policies and civil rights according to our dictates or they will be the next Iraq.

* We suspect that the explanation for this mismatch lies in the definition of the term "occupying forces." Strictly speaking, occupying force are those charged with maintaining order and providing services in an occupied country. Troops in Kuwait, for example, are not occupying forces. They are based in Kuwait, but their mission is outside of the country; so, there can be troops occupying Iraq and troops based in Iraq and the missions are completely different.

* There will be an occupation force charged with managing Iraq's internal security and other issues. There also will be other troops based in Iraq -- not reporting to the occupation commander, but reporting to a war-fighting commander whose primary responsibility will be for operations outside of Iraq.

* Wolfowitz -- and President George W. Bush -- simply don't want to lay the long-term cards on the table at this time. They would rather be accused of attacking Iraq without reason than being viewed as being engaged in a long-term, well-thought-out campaign against other countries in the region.

22 posted on 02/28/2003 9:41:03 AM PST by u-89
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To: *war_list
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
23 posted on 02/28/2003 9:45:57 AM PST by Free the USA (Stooge for the Rich)
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To: Axion
Shinseki is an imbecile. I saw the tape when he made this statement.

Q: How many troops will be needed to occupy Iraq after the war?

Shinseki: Uuuuh..it would probably take...uuhhh....several....hundred thousand.

This numbskull probably doesn't even know how many troops are under his command. His answer came from where most of his decisions come from - his ass.

24 posted on 02/28/2003 9:55:41 AM PST by servantoftheservant
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To: stimpyone
Who said I had much respect for Tommy Franks?

Rummy has chided him publicly publicly (if indirectly) and put his own guys under him to spearhead the effort in Iraq...

I stand by my suspicions, with some of the Clinton era appointments better than others...

Remember who was leading the Department of the Army during the Clinton days and what Clinton's FIRST act as president was?

25 posted on 02/28/2003 9:56:05 AM PST by chilepepper
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To: stimpyone
You didn't happen to notice that, here in America, the military is under the command of the civilian government, did you? Someone should be saying "Yes sir" and "no sir" but not Wolfowitz. What the two did in the early 70s is completely and totally irrelevant.

Or did someone stage a military coup while I was passed out last night?
26 posted on 02/28/2003 10:06:40 AM PST by ConservativeNewsNetwork
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To: meenie
You've got the wrong poster. I said nothing about Shisheki being the Joint Chief. My comment was that he is feeding his anti administration meddling to Hackworth.
27 posted on 02/28/2003 10:09:39 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: servantoftheservant
Now you are going to confuse those Shinseki lovers on this site!!!
28 posted on 02/28/2003 10:10:29 AM PST by OldFriend
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To: chilepepper
Rummy has chided him publicly publicly (if indirectly) and put his own guys under him to spearhead the effort in Iraq...

From DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers

Rumsfeld: I'm going to finish my thought and then we're through.

Someone mentioned General Franks, or I did. I'm not -- I don't want to be critical of any one person or any newspaper, but we're going into a difficult period. And accuracy and precision on my part is important, and accuracy and precision on your parts is important. There's just an awful lot of mischief taking place around here.

I read an article that said that I overruled General Franks and -- because I was disagreeing, we were disagreeing, and I put General John Abizaid in as his deputy, so that we could keep track of what he's doing. That is absolute hogwash.

The truth is that what happened was that Paul Wolfowitz came to me and said that General Franks had come to him and said, "How do you think I could approach the Secretary of Defense about the possibility of my getting General Abizaid as my deputy, one of my deputies?"

And Paul said, "I don't know. He's not going to like it, because he likes him as director of the Joint Staff. He's doing a terrific job there. Dick Myers isn't going to like it, and Pete" -- (laughter) -- "and Pete Pace isn't going to like it. So you, General Franks, better figure out a way that you can make it so persuasive that you can get the secretary, the deputy secretary, the chairman and the vice chairman to agree to let this fine talent leave the Joint Staff" -- where he was doing tremendously important work and exceedingly well -- and go -- "and that he is the only one in the entire armed forces, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, that can do that job for you. And that's not going to be an easy sell," he told Franks.

So, General Franks comes sidling up to you and sidling up to me and sidling up to Paul, and we said, "No! We need him here." And so, he goes away, and he comes back a week and a half later and does it again. He sidles up to all of us and he was persuasive. And finally we said, "Well, maybe. But not now." And we kept delaying it.



29 posted on 02/28/2003 10:12:44 AM PST by Hipixs
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To: Axion
Pentagon Briefing going on now. (C-SPAN). Maybe Rumsfeld or Meyers will be asked a question or two about this.
30 posted on 02/28/2003 10:51:22 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Axion
Pentagon Briefing going on now. (C-SPAN). Maybe Rumsfeld or Meyers will be asked a question or two about this.

I apologize if this is a double post. We can consider it an added bump.
31 posted on 02/28/2003 10:54:00 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: stimpyone
Wolf has every right to brace Shinseki. It is the civilians that run the military, not vice versa. Most importantly, Shinseki should have resigned months ago; he is aware the administration has little confidence in him, but like all of Clinton's satraps, he cannot leave the stage gracefully.
32 posted on 02/28/2003 11:28:36 AM PST by gaspar
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To: stimpyone
I spent two years in Nam and as far as I'm concerned my admiration for Wolf is much greater than that for Shinseki. Just because a person did not serve in Viet Nam does not make that person inherantly evil or unpatriotic. And just because someone served there doesn't make him/her good or patriotic.
33 posted on 02/28/2003 11:32:20 AM PST by gaspar
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To: Captain Kirk
You might inquire of the source why the words "Clintonite" and "smear" conjugate.
34 posted on 02/28/2003 11:47:19 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Axion
Rummy was asked about Shinseki's remarks at today's press conference. The conversation went something like this...

Reporter: What do you think about Gen Shinseki's estimate on the cost of a possible occupation of Iraq?

Rumsfeld: Everybody is entitled to their opinion.

Reporter: But is it helpful to the adminstration to have him express this opinion at this time?

Rumsfeld: All opinions are helpful, unless they are wrong.

Rumsfeld then went on to explain that there would be many different variables involved in such an estimate, and since he doesn't know how Shinseki came up with his conclusions on each variable he really couldn't comment further on his opinion, except that it doesn't match what he has seen.
35 posted on 02/28/2003 12:32:09 PM PST by Hugin
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To: stimpyone
AAAAhhhhh...excuse me but the Deputy SecDef outranks this REMF ass COS. But then again most people who never served wouldn't know a thing about the chain of comman structure. Shenseki is a Clintonite drone. I am glad I never had to be on active duty when a bunch of REMF ass jerry's kids got to wear the beret that I had to literally kill to wear!!! I think that ass even has a Ranger tab...but I knew alot of REMF butter bars who had a Ranger tab..."The tab is just a school...the scroll is a way of life"!!

Wolfowitz does talk like Patton...and God bless him for it everyday!!
36 posted on 02/28/2003 12:39:56 PM PST by Ga Rob ("Concensus is the ABSENSE of Leadership" The Iron Lady)
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To: OldFriend
Clinton appointee.
37 posted on 02/28/2003 12:57:06 PM PST by ScholarWarrior
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To: onedoug
Some of us determine our views on the merits not solely on the basis of "us" and "them."
38 posted on 02/28/2003 2:50:28 PM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Captain Kirk
Okay.

By some of his articles and interviews, Shinseki seems to have a fair sense of warfighting theory, if it isn't more heavily skewed to the priority of training to actual battlefield command. It's tougher to actually judge his performance in the latter however, without the critical criterion of his superiors.

I did, and still disagree with his vision of warfighter esprit de corps vis a vis what I consider his stubborn recalcitrance on the Clinton era beret controversy in which he essentially ripped one of Airborne qualified troops most coveted symbols of their military uniqueness away from them, and fitted it instead onto the heads of the entire Army from boot to ACS. That essentially the entire inventory of that headgear was at least initially Made In China, only added insult to injury. ...Again, in my opinion. Not that I've ever been crazy about our Army emulating the appearance of French soldiers, anyway.

So, on what other basis outside the merits of of "us" and "them" are your views on this issue determined?

Clinton isn't worthy of evaluation in a military context. So if that's your point, we're done.

39 posted on 02/28/2003 4:45:53 PM PST by onedoug
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To: leadpenny
Thanks for the info, but June or July is too far away for that turkey!

Hello, yourself, my dear. Hope to see you tomorrow.
40 posted on 02/28/2003 4:53:49 PM PST by Bigg Red (Defend America against her most powerful enemy -- the Democrats.)
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To: SLB; Lil'freeper; big'ol_freeper; Doctor Raoul; Fred Mertz; shezza
He doesn't know a heavy force from a hole in the ground.

Too many "shazzam" briefings.

I'll be glad when he's gone.

41 posted on 02/28/2003 6:07:12 PM PST by sauropod (Excellence in Shameless Self Promotion)
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To: Axion
See: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ab3772e1f05.htm
Who is this guy?
42 posted on 02/28/2003 7:38:08 PM PST by Abcdefg
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To: Abcdefg; sauropod; Fred Mertz
If you think Shinseki rose rapidly just watch B.B. Bell. Two years ago he was a Major Generl Commanding the Armor Center, usually a dead end job. Now he is a General in Europe.

Next stop? My guess - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs!
43 posted on 02/28/2003 9:04:09 PM PST by SLB
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To: SLB
BB Bell served at the CFR. 'nuf said.
44 posted on 03/01/2003 8:46:32 PM PST by Fred Mertz
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To: sauropod; Lil'freeper; big'ol_freeper; Doctor Raoul; Fred Mertz; shezza; leadpenny; harpseal; ...
The last paragraph of this article:
Once the war is concluded, if it is concluded well, these contradictions will be forgotten and the next strategic steps will unfold -- or so the administration's theory goes. That may be correct, and indeed, much of this is simply Washington chatter, of no consequence outside of Washington. Nevertheless, the intense strains of unarticulated strategic plans are showing.

Seems to be coming true even before the war is concluded. I know many don't feel Shinseki has the depth of experience, but his words seem to be holding true even before we are there as an occupation force. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are NOT generals, they are civilian leaders who have minimal experience in the tactical planning required for an operation such as is being carried out in the sands of Iraq.

45 posted on 03/30/2003 6:36:00 AM PST by SLB
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To: SLB
Yep.
46 posted on 03/30/2003 6:47:22 AM PST by sauropod (If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy...)
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To: SLB
I disagree. Once Baghdad falls, i think you will be amazed how quickly the Iraqis turn against the former regime.

The reason the Iraqis haven't come out yet to support the Allies is both predictable and prudent. If the Allies leave before Saddam falls, those Iraqis (like the teenage girl who was hanged for waving to troops) will be tortured and killed. Once Basra/Nasariya/etc falls, watch what happens!

I think things will settle down quickly once we get rid of Saddam... the Iraqis will turn their true tormentors...

47 posted on 03/30/2003 6:57:05 AM PST by chilepepper (Gnocchi Seuton!)
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To: chilepepper
Hate to break the news to you, but I am afraid this will be a long and protracted action. I notice the administration is no longer talking about the Iraqis suffering from "shock and awe" instead the adiminstration is shocked into the cold hard reality of war being an awesome undertaking.
48 posted on 03/30/2003 7:06:48 AM PST by SLB
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To: u-89
So far you seem to be the only one that understood that. Odd that the Saudis, Syria, Iran, North Korea, etc. got the message long ago.
49 posted on 03/30/2003 7:12:04 AM PST by meatloaf
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To: SLB
Nah, it'll all be over in a month, a bit of mop-up perhaps afterwards.

This weekend was the clue. Nassyria is about to fall to the Allies and Najaf will fall soon after. Then Basra, then Baghdad with the push starting probably in a couple of weeks.

The fall of Nassyria is the real breaking point. Its fall (which is nearly complete if you check carefully) is going to really demoralize the ragheads...

50 posted on 03/30/2003 3:21:05 PM PST by chilepepper (Gnocchi Seuton!)
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