Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Politics Behind the Rumsfeld Griping

I found this very interesting.

On Sept. 10, 2001, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a town hall meeting at the Pentagon and identified what he saw as the gravest threat to national security: the Pentagon's own bureaucracy. "With brutal consistency, it stifles free thought and crushes new ideas. It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk," he said. He may have underestimated both the size and tenacity of this foe.

In the opening pages of their new book about the Iraq war, "Cobra II," Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor quote the Sept. 10 speech to frame the battle that has raged inside the Pentagon for five years. As the nation has weathered the most deadly terrorist attack on its soil in history, fought a global war on terror and liberated two countries, there has been a battle inside the Pentagon over the size, organization and weaponry of the U.S. military. And that battle has only intensified as the bureaucracy that Mr. Rumsfeld chastised for being stuck in a Cold War mindset has picked up allies in Congress, the military and in some quarters of the administration. It is this coalition that is now pushing for Mr. Rumsfeld to be fired.

I'm shocked, shocked! that this should be at its core about politics and power, rather than doing the right thing.


Granted said...

Amazing. Who'd a thunk it. Had a small run-in with the monster-in-law on this topic this weekend. She couldn't believe that anyone who's against McBushitler would have an agenda.

geekwife said...

Well, they do have an agenda... it's simply to make the world a better place. Because everyone who's against Bush is a noble, selfless, morally CORRECT individual. It really goes without saying, you silly non-Democrat, you. It's only those evil Republicans who have secret plans that are BAD, BAD for everyone but the rich. Why do you have to make things so complicated?


Nylarthotep said...

I'm all for hearing what the Generals have to say, and knowing their motives before coming to a decision. Both sides of the argument seem to want to force you to take one without the other. It's especially important to understand the most complicated part of the issue, the motives. Without understanding those, you really can't know what is going on.

Morally correct? Hah! That's a laugh. If an insurgent is just another name for freedom fighter, morally correct is the description of any and all politicians. Doesn't work that way. Unfortunately the fever-swamp left and the alkaline-desert right can't seem to ever look at the whole picture.

I'm sorry, but the M-in-Law is kinda scary when it comes to politics.

The worst part of the whole issue for me is that people want to remove Rumsfeld for mistakes he made but not take notice of his reactions to those mistakes. They also don't want to look at the accomplishments that he's made in updating the military. Cohen certainly did a good job of making the military smaller and less "cold-war" like, but did nothing to bring up the standards and abilities of the military.

The thing that makes me grind my teeth is the chair polishers in the pentagon making political movements instead of doing what is the best. Far too many of them have politics in mind more than military and it shows. The intelligence agencies and the diplomats are even worse. And the behemoth that the government has become makes it impossible to clean house without destroying the system.