Friday, November 10, 2006
The first few paragraphs of the Times report says it all, and echoes considerable anxiety on my part:
Troops expressed little pleasure at the departure of the man responsible for their protracted deployment to a hostile country where 2,839 of their comrades have died.
Indeed, some members of the 101st Airborne Division and other troops approached by The Times as they prepared to fly home from
Mr Rumsfeld “made decisions, he stuck with them and he did what he thought was right, whether people agreed with it, liked it, or not”, Staff Sergeant Frank Notaro said. He insisted that
Staff Sergeant Michael Howard said: “It’s a blow to the military. He was a good Secretary of Defence. He kept us focused. He kept the leaders focused. It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes.”
Quite telling that the Times then quotes an anonymous Army Colonel who sees things differently. Contrast this career officer’s preference for anonymity, versus the openly stated concerns of enlisted soldiers who didn’t mind taking personal responsibility for their opinions:
The colonel criticised Mr Rumsfeld for sending too few troops to
The exalted Powell Doctrine. Only use overwhelming and mass amounts of military force in situations when a competent squad of US Marines would probably have sufficed. Surely the Powell Doctrine is supremely suited to the Democrats, as the logical and inescapable consequence of such a doctrine, is to always make any serious military response prohibitive: if there’s risk, or we can’t be certain of winning, we won’t fight. We’ll negotiate the cost of war avoidance, otherwise known as the terms of surrender.
If we responded to World War Two that way,
Earlier this week, or maybe last, I wish I could recall who, made the comment that saying that the US needs 500,000 troops on the ground for anything means, since that’s politically impossible except for a homeland invasion, that one never has to contemplate actually pursuing the course of action in question.
That best ensures that Career Officers will be able to advance, achieve lofty leadership positions, and never have to sully their uniforms nor experience the really tough weight of military leadership: the loss of the brave men and women who, throughout our history, we have called upon to sacrifice on our behalf. Do we really want to seriously consider the views of those with the most to gain from a return inaction, and the least to sacrifice when sacrifices are required?
Captain Ed observes a different kind of hypocrisy:
It seems to me that any effort to "support the troops" ought to at least involve their input. If they do not see
Captain Ed contrasts the Times in the
I’m absolutely sure that the Times, like Kerry, meant no such thing, but rather, that it was a poorly executed joke about how disliked Rumsfeld is within our military.
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