Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, April 20, 2006

General-ly Speaking

The dust has settled around the criticism by retired military generals of Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. My first reaction was disgust; to me this was insubordination despite the freedom granted to ex-military personnel to speak at their pleasure. What is in the past of these generals turned critics? They have laid the groundwork for complete examination of themselves.
Military affairs advisor, Stephen E. Herbits, provides some expert insight.
A new process for promotion had been in place for nearly five years and had required significantly more scrutiny, vetting and long-term planning.
xxx Over that time, many generals who might have been promoted under the old system did not make it in the new one. The most telling indicator here is that of the top 40 senior military positions today, the Army now holds the fewest joint positions in its history. For too many years, the Army had simply not produced the needed talent for such critical positions. The effects of such cronyism had taken its toll. Mr. Rumsfeld's changes corrected that problem; they also provoked the resentment of some top Army brass.
There is at least one of the attackers who was passed over for promotion because of personal behavior which did not clear a routine morals examination.
There is no way the secretary can be an expert on every single issue that comes before him. But he can ask questions and he can drive down into the facts and analyses as few others can. It is through that process that he gains confidence in those making the recommendations so he can put his stamp on them.
Any CEO worth his or her salt will take the same approach before making decisions that could either take a company further or bring it down. Decision concerning our military would seem more important and require a tough management style.
Joe Mariani at Cavalier's Guardian Watchdog provides more specifics about the generals, who they are and what they're all about. Mariani writes:
Retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni, for instance, wants Rumsfeld to resign for "throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq." What Zinni really means is that he's bitter because Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks did not adopt the plan he created. Zinni's 2001 plan, drafted without any recent knowledge of conditions inside Iraq, called for 300,000 troops to invade Iraq, advancing city by city.
Retired Major General Charles Swannack thinks that Rumsfeld "carries way too much baggage" and that he micromanages his generals in Iraq.
Retired Major General John Riggs feels Rumsfeld and the civilians who run the Pentagon are too "arrogant" for him.
Retired Major General John Batiste also feels that Rumsfeld should be fired for not taking his advice, this time on how to secure Baghdad post-war.
Retired Major General Paul Eaton claims to have issues with Rumsfeld "strategically, operationally and tactically."
Retired Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold called Iraq an "unnecessary war" in his complaint, but it's hard to understand why he doesn't call for all the members of the House and Senate who voted for it to resign, instead of the man who merely heads the Pentagon.
Retired General Wesley Clark said, "Mr Rumsfeld had made bad policy choices and had not done an adequate job." Clark jumped on the bandwagon after the first six retired generals made their protest. It's hard to believe Clark went so far in the military, his political career has made him look weak and foolish.
Whatever the motives of these retired military officers, they should have aired their grievances privately. Without further outcry from military personnel, six bad apples won't embolden the MSM to continue the anti-Rumsfeld propaganda machine in an effort to mobilize against the Bush administration in its entirety.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumsfeld has done a excellent job at shaking up the military. There has been much needed changes after the cold war. Rumsfeld job at reenvisioning/orginising the role of the military is underapreciated. With this all said alot of the decisions he made have greatly hurt the president apovial rating ie post war planning in iraq, ahbu-grab. This is the reason he needs to go. I am sure a new guy will be more effective at pushing through much needed reforms.

4/20/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Retired LTC said...

Yeah, Rumsfeld has done such a great job of shaking up the military, that's why Iraq is in such good shape.

It's typical of the right-wing to try to smear the good name on anyone who dares to expose their incompetence from first-hand observation. The fact is, most of these generals were at the top of their game when they chose to retire. One had been offered his third star and a high-level position within Central Command but chose to retire instead.

Furthermore, Clark did not just jump on the bandwagon. He has been calling for Rumsfeld to go since at least 2003. And I assure you, he earned every one of his four stars.

Pretty much everyone working in or near the Pentagon knows what a shambles it is, thanks to Rumsfeld and his top-level civilians. They think they know more than men who have studied and prosecuted war all their lives.

It's no accident that all of the retired generals who have spoken out are Army and Marines, and those defending Rumsfeld are almost to a man Air Force.

4/22/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Liberally Conservative said...

And besides, Rumsfeld got the military off of food stamps, thanks to Al Gore and his military trashing project.

Ah the left-wing nut house, isn't it great.

6,000 + retired Admirals and Generals and only 7 complaining publicly like the disgruntled moonbats they really are.

4/22/2006 11:48:00 PM  

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