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Stuck in the Quicksand (Hackworth Article Poor Timing Alert)
SFTT.Org ^ | April 1, 2003 | David H. Hackworth

Posted on 04/03/2003 6:00:43 PM PST by PJ-Comix

Since Vice President Dick Cheney said he saw the war in terms of “weeks rather than months,” I wish I could report that Tommy Franks’ grunts were beating Desert Storm's 100-hour-war record set by Stormin’ Norman's studs in 1991. But because Saddam got the message in 1991 that his army couldn't stand toe-to-toe with our military machine and walk away the winner, that's sadly not the case.

Instead, Saddam’s sadists took a page from the post-World War I German Command, which came up with a smart new way of doing war business after waving the white flag and subsequently blitzkrieged its way across Europe in just over a year.

The vanquished tend to question why they lost and adjust their battle tactics and gear accordingly. The victors seldom bother to mess with success. Which is probably why, given Desert Storm's easy score, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld felt comfortable going back to the Gulf with four combat divisions – even though the president authorized eight. Especially when air power's “shock and awe” promised a quicker, cheaper win.

Now we're stuck in the Iraqi quicksand in a soon-to-be burning desert with guerrillas tearing up our rear, doing unto our troops whatever unconventional fighters did to the French at Moscow, the Germans at Stalingrad, the Americans in Vietnam and Somalia, the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Russians in Chechnya.

While Saddam was watching videotapes of “Apocalypse Now” and “Black Hawk Down” and taking notes, Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers – badly misjudging Iraq's determination – chose to refight Desert Storm.

The Dream Team made three classic mistakes:

* Not understanding the enemy or the nature of the war.

* Thinking smart bombs would do the job.

* Underestimating the patriotism of the average Saddam-hating Iraqi and how fiercely he'd fight for his country.

Sources who participated in the year-long war games prepping for Operation Iraqi Freedom say prescient junior officers – pointing out that Saddam was publicly ordering his people to prepare to fight unconventionally – pushed strongly for scenarios to include: insurgent strikes to soft rear areas with missiles; hit-and-run guerillas cutting our supply lines; and other suicide assaults such as car bombs.

But the brass blew off their paramilitary prophecy as radical thinking. Majors don't win verbal wars with generals – particularly slick political types under the thumb of an overpowering SecDef who seems to have bet a lot of lives on technology.

A concerned retired general says: “I think the combination of Rumsfeld and the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an Air Force man, is a dangerous mix. I'm sure Myers is a superb combat pilot, but that doesn't qualify him for influencing a ground campaign. And there's never been a war won by air alone. Sure, it sets the conditions for final victory, but until you get the troops on the ground to do the dirty, dangerous work, you can never achieve victory. The final truth is that our soldiers and Marines and airman always have to take our plans and make them work.”

During the Vietnam War, our leadership managed to violate all nine Principles of War. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, we have control of the air but don't have Initiative on the ground, Mass, Surprise, etc. And most of the top brass support Rumsfeld's scary impersonation of former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara by agreeing that victory is just around the next guerrilla-ambush corner.

Talk about denial. Last week, Operations Chief Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart, holding court at Central Command's prime-time version of the Spinners Club, said a car-bomb attack that killed four soldiers came from “an organization that's getting desperate” and not playing by the rules. Big surprise!

George W. Bush needs to immediately reassess his war plan, bring in more combat troops, heed the advice of his fighting generals on the ground rather than his team of mainly chicken-hawk advisers and immediately readjust his tactics. He needs to get real and apply the lessons learned from the Russians in Chechnya and the Israelis in Lebanon – and to understand what went wrong in Vietnam.

Hopefully then, he won't make the mistake of another Texas president who didn't sack his SecDef and Joint Chiefs chairman straight away for their screw-ups – an error so egregious it cost our country almost 60,000 American lives and LBJ his presidency.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: armchairgenerals; davidhackworth; iraq; iraqifreedom; quagmire
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SHEESH!!! Talk about POOR timing for an article! Here is a typical quote:

Now we're stuck in the Iraqi quicksand in a soon-to-be burning desert with guerrillas tearing up our rear, doing unto our troops whatever unconventional fighters did to the French at Moscow, the Germans at Stalingrad, the Americans in Vietnam and Somalia, the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Russians in Chechnya.

Yeah, Hack, the Iraq campaign is some disaster. Today we captured Saddam airport among such "disasters." Perhaps Hackworth can try to escape the humiliation for being so wrong in this article by claiming it was just an April Fools joke. Just look at the date it was published.

1 posted on 04/03/2003 6:00:43 PM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
This guy's anti-Rumsfeld rhetoric is so transparent, it's frightening.

Any books he writes after this war will be pulp fiction ala Marcincko.
2 posted on 04/03/2003 6:03:36 PM PST by Retrofire (Let's roll!)
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To: PJ-Comix
Hackworth is delusional and stupid --- A loser through and through. ....(with a bad Roman faggot haircut).
3 posted on 04/03/2003 6:04:10 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: PJ-Comix
Sometimes I wonder what the hell is going through Hack's mind. Its like he's jealous of what is being accomplished, just like McCaffery and all the other retired officers who turned into talking heads.
4 posted on 04/03/2003 6:04:26 PM PST by Ronin1 (Howie Carr rules the Boston airwaves!)
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To: PJ-Comix
Hack has consistently been wrong about our capabilities since Mogadishu.
I wonder if that didn't hit him as hard as it did Les Aspin?

So9

5 posted on 04/03/2003 6:06:04 PM PST by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: PJ-Comix
Hackworth has really lost me as a fan. He conveniently doesn't mention that in the first Gulf War we bombed Iraqi troops for over a month before launching the ground offensive. So if you want to get technical the first Gulf War took over a month, and so far this one is only 2 weeks old.
6 posted on 04/03/2003 6:06:21 PM PST by Tailback
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To: Mr. Mojo
I bet Hackworth wishes he could recall this article. Too late, Hack. You've made a complete fool of yourself with this poorly timed doom & gloom article.
7 posted on 04/03/2003 6:06:23 PM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
Stupid article.

He somehow fails to remember that the "100 hours" followed "100 days" of round-the-clock bombing.

This operation has gone so smoothly it exceeded my wildest expectations. Especially when you consider that they had to adjust to some things they might not have anticipated, like the illegal "guerrilla" tactics used by the Fedayeen, and not having Turkey as a transport and supply corridor.

People have criticized Rumsfeld for fighting "on the cheap," yet fail to remember that we have ongoing ops in Afghanistan, and need to keep a watchful eye on Korea.

I plan to ignore Hackworth in the future.
8 posted on 04/03/2003 6:06:45 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
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To: Ronin1
What should be going through his mind right now is "which medication do I need?" He has scorched-earth what little credibility he might have still possessed. I don't see how anyone can take his point of view seriously after this.
9 posted on 04/03/2003 6:07:15 PM PST by thoughtomator (We're winning! We're winning!)
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To: PJ-Comix
More proof there is a God of justice in heaven.

;-)
10 posted on 04/03/2003 6:07:16 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: PJ-Comix
God I LOVE seeing that self engrossed media pig go down hard like this! YES!!!
11 posted on 04/03/2003 6:07:17 PM PST by elfman2
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To: PJ-Comix
all my stupidity are belong to me
12 posted on 04/03/2003 6:07:32 PM PST by try phecta tom ((Harvey RULES. Paul not the rabbit)
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To: PJ-Comix
"... Perhaps Hackworth can try to escape the humiliation for being so wrong in this article by claiming it was just an April Fools joke."

What the hell's wrong with this guy? His psychotropic medication needs adjustment?

13 posted on 04/03/2003 6:07:32 PM PST by bigfootbob
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To: PJ-Comix
i remember him predicting the US was going to lose 20,000 lives during the Gulf War
14 posted on 04/03/2003 6:07:35 PM PST by InvisibleChurch
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To: PJ-Comix
This war will remove Col. Hackworth as a credible source of current military strategy and techniques forever....

Shame to see him go out this way, he served his country well....

To be reduced to a shrill has-been from an outstanding warrior is sad.....

NeverGore
15 posted on 04/03/2003 6:08:17 PM PST by nevergore (If stupidity hurt, Frenchmen would be writhing in pain....)
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To: PJ-Comix
I bet Hackworth wishes he could recall this article. Too late, Hack. You've made a complete fool of yourself with this poorly timed doom & gloom article. Not only that, but his web site will not honor the feedback links, His mailbox is probably melting down even as we speak.
16 posted on 04/03/2003 6:09:00 PM PST by konaice
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To: Servant of the Nine
I saw Hackworth on Larry King last week and he was recalling how prior to GWI, he had made an analysis that predicted 50,000 American casualties. He said that he later revised it to 20,000 casualties. You'd think that being wrong by 2 orders of magnitude would give him pause to reconsider his thought process. I'm sure Hack predicted that Grenada would be another Iwo Jima.
17 posted on 04/03/2003 6:09:18 PM PST by overtaxed_canadian
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To: PJ-Comix
April Fool, Hack.
18 posted on 04/03/2003 6:09:35 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: nevergore
To be reduced to a shrill has-been from an outstanding warrior is sad.....

That reduction took place around 35 years ago.

19 posted on 04/03/2003 6:10:44 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: PJ-Comix
Hackworth is on a new cause...war related diseases. He said before the war that our troops were not equipped with viable gear to withstand bio or chemical attacks. One thing he said that I laughed at was that our soldiers "do not have a place to change into their gear".

Yes, I know he was an honorable soldier, but nowdays, he seems a fruitcake.
20 posted on 04/03/2003 6:11:25 PM PST by Conservababe (I calls it like I sees it.)
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To: Ronin1
Yesterday McCaffrey backed way off and was praising General Myers and General Franks like crazy. Called General Myers the absolute best General for the job of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Do believe General Myers hit home at least with him. It was so funny to watch him backtrack!
21 posted on 04/03/2003 6:12:09 PM PST by PhiKapMom (Get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US)
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To: PJ-Comix
Hackworth made one classic mistake...he opened his mouth
22 posted on 04/03/2003 6:12:15 PM PST by woofie
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To: Ronin1
I am really disappointed in the Colonel. He was a helluva soldier, but it seems his time has passed. I really don't understand him, he was spot on about the harm the Clinton administration was doing to the troops. It seems as though he can't let go of the constant criticism of the CIVILIAN LED Military. What really is hard to understand is that when GW picked his VP and SecDef and SOS, he said how much he admired them. Confusing as hell.
23 posted on 04/03/2003 6:12:41 PM PST by PISANO
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To: PJ-Comix
Hackworth is as wrong as all those retired generals that have been whining about the impending doom of our forces. They have no credibility left and ought to just shut their pie holes.
24 posted on 04/03/2003 6:12:49 PM PST by Busywhiskers (Non entia multiplicandia sunt prater necessetatum.)
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To: nevergore
I originally read this Hackworth article earlier today in my local newspaper. Meanwhile, the nearby radio was giving reports about Coalition Troops capturing Saddam International Airport and how the Iraqi forces were quickly collapsing. It gave me a lot of chuckles at the time at the amazingly POOR TIMING of this idiotic article.
25 posted on 04/03/2003 6:13:24 PM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
Hackworth had a nuclear meltdown on the Hugh Hewitt show the other day.

Keep in mind that Hackworth was predicting Doom 'n Gloom prior to Gulf War I.

He's a Vietnam Veteran who views every new conflict through the lens of what happened during 'Nam...
26 posted on 04/03/2003 6:13:53 PM PST by ambrose
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To: PJ-Comix
Well, Hack has just become another hack!
27 posted on 04/03/2003 6:15:28 PM PST by NavyCaptain
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To: PJ-Comix
Notice how "Hack" has been disinvited from Fox and the radio programs lately. He's down to going on CNN for face time. That pretty much is an indication your career as a "military expert" is over.

V


28 posted on 04/03/2003 6:15:36 PM PST by Beck_isright (If Susan Sarandon pooped in the woods, would ELF boycott her?)
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To: Conservababe
Yes, I know he was an honorable soldier, but nowdays, he seems a fruitcake.

He was simply never cut out for anything but being a soldier. He's particularly bad as an armchair general, hopefully his inane commentary on this war will kick him out of the public eye forever.

29 posted on 04/03/2003 6:15:51 PM PST by EaglesUpForever (Ne messez pas avec le US)
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To: Servant of the Nine
Hack has consistently been wrong about our capabilities since Mogadishu. I wonder if that didn't hit him as hard as it did Les Aspin?

Les Aspin was hit hard by the losses? That is news to me.

30 posted on 04/03/2003 6:15:55 PM PST by Conservababe (I calls it like I sees it.)
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To: PJ-Comix
The more Hackworth speaks, the more I'm convinced that he really was DITHF.
31 posted on 04/03/2003 6:17:16 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: PJ-Comix
up till a coupla or so years ago, I enjoyed admiring this former hero. But, he has been wrong much more than he has been right. He has turned into a self promoting opportunist and I unfortunately have no admiration left for him. Awfully sad because we didn't have enuf heroes before this apparent success at liberation of a fine Iraqi people. This article will hopefully shut him up and get him out of the public eye or he is gonna end up being a genuine laughing stock. Bye Hack. I'm gonna miss you!
32 posted on 04/03/2003 6:18:36 PM PST by mc10
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To: PJ-Comix
What on earth did Rumsfeld ever do to Hackworth? Take his parking spot? Cheat at poker? Flip him off in traffic? Forget to return a power tool?

What!?

I'm not the biggest Rumsfeld fan myself, but give Rumsfeld credit where credit is due.

33 posted on 04/03/2003 6:19:46 PM PST by Milwaukee_Guy (Having France in NATO, is like taking an accordion deer hunting.......)
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To: nevergore
This war will remove Col. Hackworth as a credible source of current military strategy and techniques forever....

Hack is not credible to those who seriously study modern war but Hack will continue to be a favorite on the TV talking head circuit.

Hack predicted disaster in Gulf War One and Hack predicted disater in Afghanistan. Yet, when the TV talking heads want a Gloom and Doom guest (which is before and during every war), Hack is the first guy they call.

34 posted on 04/03/2003 6:20:02 PM PST by Polybius
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To: ambrose
He's a Vietnam Veteran who views every new conflict through the lens of what happened during 'Nam...

Spot On!

35 posted on 04/03/2003 6:20:11 PM PST by sirchtruth
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To: Conservababe
Les Aspin was hit hard by the losses? That is news to me.

He dropped dead of a heart attack at 55. I think it was guilt that did it.

So9

36 posted on 04/03/2003 6:20:45 PM PST by Servant of the Nine (We are the Hegemon. We can do anything we damned well please.)
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To: EaglesUpForever
Hackworth and all these MORONS need to get a fkking CLUE.

WE KILLED 1500+ and lost 19 in Mogadishu, AND we completed the days mission to boot, we snatched who needed snatched.

Since when is such a lopsided victory a defeat to a so called military man like Hackworth(less)?

We lost politically, Clinton wussed out. HE denied us armor and a spookiebird. Setting us up for personnel losses.

Whatever Somalia was, it wasn't a defeat for the soldiers.
37 posted on 04/03/2003 6:20:48 PM PST by Stopislamnow (Because tomorrow we'll all be dead and won't be able to)
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To: PhiKapMom
McCaffrey has become a joke. I never liked the arrogant bast***. I hope that we have seen the last of this guy!
38 posted on 04/03/2003 6:22:15 PM PST by mc10
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To: PhiKapMom
McCaffrey has become a joke. I never liked the arrogant bast***. I hope that we have seen the last of this guy!
39 posted on 04/03/2003 6:22:16 PM PST by mc10
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To: PJ-Comix
This article is sooooooo March 31st.
40 posted on 04/03/2003 6:22:31 PM PST by dead
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Busywhiskers
Hackworth is as wrong as all those retired generals that have been whining about the impending doom of our forces. They have no credibility left and ought to just shut their pie holes.

Rummy mentioned, in his sweet unassuming way, that the retired generals should indeed shut their mouths. Afterwards, on Fox rountable, there was a discussion of this and the pensions that the Generals might lose for critizing the war.

Hmmm, is it possible for a pension to be taken from a General for such?

42 posted on 04/03/2003 6:23:35 PM PST by Conservababe (I calls it like I sees it.)
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To: Stopislamnow
I guess if we don't have zero losses, zero civilian casualties (not so much as an injured baby Goat), and the whole opposing country cheering a warm welcome within 24 hours, it's a "hopeless quagmire dwarfing Viet Nam."
43 posted on 04/03/2003 6:24:23 PM PST by EaglesUpForever (Ne messez pas avec le US)
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To: Beck_isright
He still has a regular column in the Navy Times. I try not to read it because he irritates the hell out of me.
44 posted on 04/03/2003 6:24:32 PM PST by Severa (Wife of Freeper Hostel, USN Active Duty Submariner)
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To: Conservababe
One thing he said that I laughed at was that our soldiers "do not have a place to change into their gear".

We need to develop some "cammo cabanas" for our shy boys.

45 posted on 04/03/2003 6:25:03 PM PST by dead
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To: BluegrassPatriot
I have been finished with HackWorthless for a long time. He had his day. Now he is just blowing it out his a$$ to get attention.
46 posted on 04/03/2003 6:25:05 PM PST by Thorondir
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To: PJ-Comix
I saw Tom DeLay call them "Blow Dried Napoleons" today. ( referring to all the hasbeens on TV)
47 posted on 04/03/2003 6:25:43 PM PST by tubebender (?)
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To: PJ-Comix
I'm glad Hackworth retired sometime ago. Its unfortunate when observers, once considered innovative, become fossilized in their "lessons" from previous wars.

Ironically, I was once in the "we did it all wrong" camp and advocated overwhelming force, forgeting that that what we really need are victory stratgies, regardless of the approach.

In Vietnam we did rely too much on technology, air support, and piecemeal committment WITHOUT a victory strategy- all wrong for the era. But Hackworth has not changed with the times. We have replaced the diffuse, slowly applied, firepower with speed, manuver, and pin-point destruction.

In Vietnam we fought to destroy their will to fight, but never dared cross their borders or approach their capital to destroy their means. We were unable to find their forces when they chose not to fight, they had santuary in Laos and Cambodia. And the will to fight of our own allies was always compromised by our indifferent results and collatoral civilan damage.

There will be a war someday when we need eight, or ten, or twenty divisions - but this is not one of them. If Hackworth believes that we underestimated the enemys will to fight or tactics, then it only proves how strong the war plan was; i.e. we are winning anyway at record speed.

Of course, it is Hackworth that does not understand. Four more divisions would have been irrelevant to city holdouts - unless the purpose is to make them Que' (way). There will to fight is now irrelevant, because our combat power is destroying their means.

Hackworth is showing his age, it may be time for him to retire from public life as well.
48 posted on 04/03/2003 6:26:13 PM PST by Mark Hamilton ("You can't reason someone out of something that they did'nt reason themselves into.")
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To: PJ-Comix

Oh NO! It's... IRAQ QUICKSAND!

Ruuuunn... Hackworth! Ruuuuunn!


49 posted on 04/03/2003 6:28:01 PM PST by hotpotato
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To: mc10
This article will hopefully shut him up and get him out of the public eye or he is gonna end up being a genuine laughing stock.

This article already has made Hack a laughingstock. A Doom & Gloom article coming out on the day the Coalition Forces capture Saddam International Airport 10 miles from downtown Baghdad sure isn't a way to establish your credibility as a serious prognosticator.

50 posted on 04/03/2003 6:29:07 PM PST by PJ-Comix
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