May 11, 2004

Letter to the Paper XX

Over at, Tacitus despairs of our present situation in Iraq:

In your Change of Command article, you mistakenly endorse Shinseki's criticism of troop levels. Shinseki wasn't trying to up the force number to make the invasion better. He talked about the need for several hundred thousand troops for the occupation (the high figure was 700,000, I believe) so that the US would change its political goals and not invade at all.

Shinseki has assured two administrations (Clinton and Bush) that we could handle two regional wars simultaneously or at least one and a half. With that testimony, Shinseki basically announced he had been lying. That's a justified reason for firing a general in my book and should be in yours too.

The priorities of the Army were ignored. We aren't going to have an undeployable Crusader artillery system. We are going to shift to a faster force that doesn't take six months to gear up for a conflict. The Army hates the reforms and is striking back now when they see Rumsfeld is politically vulnerable. The kind of Army they want is the kind of Army that takes weeks to fly helicopters from Germany to Kosovo and then, after some training in area declares them unusable as quietly as possible. We have a misaligned force structure and a Clintonian officer corps that has gone through a major blood letting to get the worst of the rot out.

I disagree that a partitioned Iraq is in the future or a failed Iraq. I think you have swallowed a great deal of pessimism and it has distorted your thinking. We are barely through the first year of our effort to remake Iraq. We've had some reverses but the successes are real and they will be of lasting consequence. Sovereignty will be handed over on schedule. Election rules will be hammered out and a SOFA will be signed with the new government. The forces of disconnection are in their "Battle of the Bulge" phase. They are expending all because they know that once sovereignty is restored and elections become the main preoccupation of the country, they are history. Stand fast for the few months more until we get there.

Posted by TMLutas at May 11, 2004 07:56 AM