Sunday, March 30, 2003

Rummy the dummy?
Currently making the headlines is a report that the New Yorker has published an article indicating that US defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, overruled his military brass and prevented them from dispatching a larger force to Iraq. The implication is that he was responsible for the difficulties the troops are having today, in particular in their advance on Baghdad.

Several other articles have been published on the subject, and a good start is this Mickey Kaus posting in Slate, with plenty of links, including this one to a article and this one to a Washington Post article..

Kaus argues that the reason Rumsfeld kept the numbers low was not merely to prove his point that a small force could win a war (Rumsfeld doctrine versus Powell doctrine), but to ensure the U.S. could subsequently attack myriad enemies again in Middle East or elsewhere--since an easy war mobilizing relatively few troops would mean future wars would be that much easier a sell to the American public.

Maybe Kaus is right, but what we can already say with definite proof is that the brass are begin to talk, which means they don't want to be scapegoats. And in that context, though the war will or might be won, the officers seem to be preparing the public for a fairly sordid and bloody affair (and Rumsfeld for a heartier use of force that might undermine his political aims).

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