Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rumsfeld's Bullying and Arrogance Substituted For Postwar Policy Planning

Rumsfeld Forbade Planning For Postwar Iraq, General Says:

Long before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld forbade military strategists to develop plans for securing a postwar Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said.

Brig. Gen. Mark E. Scheid told the Newport News Daily Press in an interview published yesterday that Rumsfeld had said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a postwar plan.

Scheid was a colonel with the U.S. Central Command, the unit that oversees military operations in the Middle East, in late 2001 when Rumsfeld "told us to get ready for Iraq."

"The secretary of defense continued to push on us . . . that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave," Scheid said. "We won't stay."

Planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4" -- plans that covered post-invasion operations such as security, stability and reconstruction, said Scheid, who is retiring in about three weeks, but "I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that."


It is revealing that now -- with people coming out of the woodwork to criticize Rumsfeld -- Bush continues to support his Defense Secretary.

The thinking in the White House must be that the firing (or accepting the resignation) of Rumsfeld at this point would be a tacit admission of the failure of the war.

However, this has to be a tough call for the president's political advisors (Rove, et al.), because there is no one move that would potentially shift the blame for the shortcomings in performance in Iraq away from Bush and vulnerable Republicans than to jettison their fractious DOD chief.

The political team must fear that the obstreperous old fart would exact a painful revenge.

4 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

ya gotta wonder if chaos and stoking a road to partition werent in fact part of the initial game plan privy to but a few. It could never be pitched to the world as such (or all of the Pentagon for that matter), but the assumption of such designs being in place would make much of what's been going on appear rather rational.

9/09/2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

I'm kinda wondering why -- if we planned to defeat Iraq and depart immediately -- we built the "permanent" bases. I had always assumed that part of the original program was to aquire these bases for our future needs in the region.

This doesn't square with Rumsfeld prohibiting planning for a post war environment.

A plan to enable partition might help to explain why no conventional planning for an occupation was done. They couldn't very well put something like that in the OPLAN.

And Rummy, being the rational actor, would probably view any planning for any other scenario to be wasteful.

9/09/2006 2:09 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

My thoughts exactly...to the T. That is the reasoning and the take of this Meatball. If only I could phrase it as eloquently as an F-wit.

Rummy and the boys are caught in the strange crossfire of taking flak for things not turning out as announced while ironically things are in fact turning out pretty much according to deep plans.

9/09/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Rummy and the boys are caught in the strange crossfire of taking flak for things not turning out as announced while ironically things are in fact turning out pretty much according to deep plans.

Egads man, I think you have nailed it. That would entirely explain his willingness to stay and take heaps of public and congressional (Democratic) heat, while still enjoying the confidence of the Chief Executive.

There are few things more satisfying than having everyone think you are a fool, while secretly knowing that everything is working out to your complete satisfaction. Rummy seems like just the type of man who would get off on such a challenging position.

9/09/2006 5:02 PM  

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