The Wall Street Journal op-ed by 4 retired generals criticizing the military critics of Secretaty of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has some lame arguments. Even more interesting are the Pentagon’s other attempts to put out the fire and keep it from spreading.
In the op-ed, retired Lt. Gen. John Crosby, former deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, former assistant vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force; retired Maj. Gen. Buron Moore, U.S. Air Force, who was director of Central Command during Operation Desert Storm; and retired Maj. Gen Paul Vallely, former deputy commander of the U.S.. Army, Pacific*, make the following arguments:
— The criticism is aimed at Rumsfeld’s transforming the military to lighter, more mobile force.
— The officers who don’t agree with this transformation prefer conventional weapons of the past, that the authors consider useless in ‘asymmetric’ warfare.
— That since Zinni and Newbold don’t seem to understand the radical ideology of Islamic extremism, they should listen to the tapes of United 93
— Rumsfeld’s choice to use too few boots on the ground has proved to be a failure in Iraq, just as Shinseski suggested in his testimony to Congress. This one is beyond lame, it has no legs, period.
— Does disagreeing with inadequate troops on the ground automatically mean they want to use conventional weapons also? Isn’t the transformation criticism about the numbers of actual soldiers, not taking away their hi tech equipment? (See Note, Maj Gen John Riggs below). How useless has that tactical replacement been in fighting the asymmetric battle? As former Marine Captain Christopher H. Sheppard wrote, “the tactics of attacks were useless to truly crush the insurgents.” The smart ones just left town and only the dummies got killed or caught. Because? “In retrospect, we never had enough troops to firmly control the region;” The legs on this one seem to have been amputated, above the knees.
— Listening to the tapes of United 93 is going to increase Newbold and Zinni’s understanding of Islamic radical ideology? (Did the WSJ forget how editing is done?) Zinni was chief of CentCom. (CentCom runs military operations in the Persian Gulf and South Asia) The authors may not agree with his understanding of the extremists’ ideology (possibly because they consider the tape to be a crucial source of information), he does have a very solid background for having a different perspective on the whole situation. Maybe it is good WSJ left this no brainer in.
Sorry, Sirs, you can talk them but, without legs and a brain, you can’t make them walk.
What intrigues me more is, “The Pentagon has called a Tuesday meeting of all of its “TV generals,” retired generals who serve as analysts for television and newspapers and get regular Pentagon briefings. They’re expected to meet with Rumsfeld and discuss the current controversy.”
We are expected to believe there will be a DISCUSSION?? (That question is answered here) That this is not going to be a lecture and training session on which TV general analyst will give out which supporting idea in the MSM echo chamber? Have some pigs started flying? Send a picture.
Can’t wait to find out how they have the different hoses aimed to put this fire out.
*Note the contrast in military postions held between the WSJ group and the Rumsfeld critics:
– Maj. Gen. John Batiste (US Army, Ret), who led the First Infantry Division in Iraq
-Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr. (US Army, Ret.), who led troops on the ground as the commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in 2004
– Maj. Gen. John Riggs. (US Army, Ret) Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in Vietnam.* had been entrusted with creating a high tech army for the 21st century*. Riggs was reduced in rank and retired early for criticizing Rumsfeld’s decision to invade Iraq with insufficient troops.
-Marine Corps Gen. Anthony C. Zinni (Ret), head of United States Central Command in the late 1990’s .
-Gen. Eric Shinseki (US Army, Ret), the Army chief of staff who told Congress 1 month before the invasion it would need more troops than Rumsfeld was planning. And was then retired early by the Pentagon
-Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, (US Army, Ret), who ran the program to train the Iraqi military in 2003 -2004
-Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold (Ret) former operations director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff 2000- 2002
Who’re you gonna listen to more? With respect and appreciation, I SALUTE the Rummybusters.