Thursday, December 16, 2004

Rumsfeld's Army - or - Defense Secretaries Must Be Clairvoyant

Tom Donnelly presents a column on the present issues of war in Rumsfeld's War.

All I got out of this is that Donnelly thinks Rumsfeld and the military brass in Iraq should have known completely what they were going to be in for and should have been prepared before hand. Last I knew clairvoyance wasn't something everyone has.

He apparently doesn't like the idea of military transformation. I'd say a typically foolish understanding of military history. When has the US military, or any other for that matter been completely prepared for what they got into from the very beginning? The World Wars definitely show the US being behind when the decided to act. Then they had to fight to catch up. Looking at the present military, I'd say we were incredibly prepared for the invasion of Iraq. What we weren't ready for was the police action that was required afterward.

I do understand that Rumsfeld has intended to push the military more to the high tech and this has led far too much to Big Shiny Planes and Big Shiny Tanks. But it doesn't mean that the foot soldier has been totally ignored. The development of personal body armor, if not the full deployment of it shows that they have been working to help the basic soldier.

The administration is still patting itself on the back for the initial invasion; this week's ceremony honoring retired General Tommy Franks, President Bush acted as though the problems of the post-invasion period didn't exist: the invasion was "the fastest, longest armored advance in the history of American warfare" with "a force half the size of the force that won the Gulf War and "defeated Saddam Hussein's regime and reached Baghdad in less than a month."
But the reality in Iraq today is Tommy Wilson's war, not Tommy Franks's war.

Note he doesn't think Franks did anything extrodinary. The derision of the award is just stupid. Franks and his command did more in one war than any other military has done. Thanks to the high tech equipment and technical planning he did some amazing things. Which leads me to my point. Rumsfeld may run the military from the top, but it's the generals that plan, prepare and execute the battles. If the police action afterward didn't go as expected, that can be understood, since they didn't plan for something they didn't expect. (Still not clairvoyant.)

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