[lit-ideas] Re: Rumsfeld

  • From: "Stan Spiegel" <writeforu2@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 15:34:47 -0400

Should Rumsfeld go? Depends on whether you're for or against Bush. After
all, Rumsfeld is Bush's assistant when it comes to war. Bush is the
commander-in-chief. Rumsfeld's supposed to have followed Bush's lead. Throw
Rumsfeld out and it looks like Bush is admitting a lot of things were done
poorly. That's one thing Bush won't do: admit to any mistakes. Throwing
Rummy away weakens the commander -- at the worst of all times, just before
the election. Bush is nothing if not sensitive to the political dynamics of
every nuance.

But retaining Rumsfeld IS good, I think, for the Democrats. Bush then
retains liability for all those errors and omissions, false steps, poor
planning and stupid judgments. I like that. Hooray for Rumsfeld!

Stan Spiegel

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JulieReneB@xxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 2:52 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Rumsfeld

> Should Rummy go?  I cannot begin to imagine why Bush continues to support
> him.  The below gives a very good case for Rumsfeld's departure, having
> little indeed to do with any photos.  I can't help but thinking, though,
that it
> would be very good for Democrats for Bush to continue to hold on to Rummy.
> below is a very interesting analysis of the Iraq situation.
> Julie Krueger
> <<Tactical Failures?
> It is at that point that things started to go wrong -- not with the grand
> strategy of the United States, but with the Iraq strategy itself. A string
> intelligence failures, errors in judgment and command failures have
> to undermine the U.S. position in Iraq and reverse the strategic benefits.
> These failures included:
> * A failure to detect that preparations were under way
> for a guerrilla war in the event that Baghdad fell.
> * A failure to quickly recognize that a guerrilla war was under way in
> and a delay of months before the reality was recognized and a strategy
> developed for dealing with it.
> * A failure to understand that the United States did not have the
> to govern Iraq if all Baathist personnel were excluded.
> * A failure to understand the nature of the people the United States was
> installing in the Iraqi Governing Council -- and in particular, the
> loyalties of Ahmed Chalabi and his relationship to Iraq's Shia and the
> Iranian government. The United States became highly dependent on
> about whom it lacked sufficient intelligence.
> * A failure to recognize that the Sunni guerrillas were regrouping in
> February and March 2004, after their defeat in the Ramadan offensive.
> * Completely underestimating the number of forces needed for the
> of Iraq, and cavalierly dismissing accurate Army estimates in favor of
> estimates that rapidly became unsupportable.
> * Failing to step up military recruiting in order to increase the total
> number of U.S. ground forces available on a worldwide basis. Failing to
> understand that the difference between defeating an army and occupying a
> country had to be made up with ground forces.
> These are the particular failures. The general failures are a compendium
> every imaginable military failing:
> * Failing to focus on the objective. Rather than remembering why U.S.
> were in Iraq and focusing on that, the Bush administration wandered off
> irrelevancies and impossibilities, such as building democracy and
> Baath party members. The administration forgot its mission.
> * Underestimating the enemy and overestimating U.S. power. The enemy was
> intelligent, dedicated and brave. He was defending his country and his
> The United States was enormously powerful but not omnipotent. The casual
> dismissal of the Iraqi guerrillas led directly to the failure to
> and counter enemy action.
> * Failure to rapidly identify errors and rectify them through changes of
> plans, strategies and personnel. Error is common in war. The measure of a
> military force is how honestly errors are addressed and rectified. When a
> command structure begins denying that self- evident problems are facing
> all is lost. The administration's insistence over the past year that no
> fundamental errors were committed in Iraq has been a cancer eating through
> all layers of the command structure -- from the squad to the office of the
> president.
> * Failing to understand the political dimension of the war and permitting
> political support for the war in the United States to erode by failing to
> express a clear, coherent war plan on the broadest level. Because of this
> failure, other major failures -- ranging from the failure to find weapons
> mass destruction to the treatment of Iraqi prisoners -- have filled the
> that strategy should have occupied. The persistent failure of the
> to explain the linkage between Iraq and the broader war has been
> of this systemic failure.
> Remember the objective; respect the enemy; be your own worst critic;
> leadership at all levels -- these are fundamental principles of warfare.
> have all been violated during the Iraq campaign.
> The strategic situation, as of March 2004, was rapidly improving for the
> United States. There was serious, reasonable discussion of a final push
> Pakistan to liquidate al Qaeda's leadership. Al Qaeda began a global
> counterattack -- as in Spain -- that was neither unexpected nor as
> as it might have been. However, the counterattack in Iraq was both
> and destabilizing -- causing military and political processes in Iraq to
> separate out, and forcing the United States into negotiations with the
> guerrillas while simultaneously trying to manage a crisis in the Shiite
> areas. At the same time that the United States was struggling to stabilize
> its position in Iraq, the prison abuse issue emerged. It was devastating
> only in its own right, but also because of the timing. It generated a
> that U.S. operations in Iraq were out of control. From Al Fallujah to An
> Najaf to Abu Ghraib, the question was whether anyone had the slightest
> what they were trying to achieve in Iraq.
> Which brings us back to the razor's edge. If the United States rapidly
> adjusts its Iraq operations to take realities in that country into
> rather than engaging on ongoing wishful thinking, the situation in Iraq
> be saved and with it the gains made in the war on al Qaeda. On the other
> hand, if the United States continues its unbalanced and ineffective
> prosecution of the war against the guerrillas and continues to allow its
> relations with the Shia to deteriorate, the United States will find itself
> an untenable position. If it is forced to withdraw from Iraq, or to so
> its operations there as to be effectively withdrawn, the entire dynamic
> the United States has worked to create since the Sept. 11 attacks will
> reverse itself, and the U.S. position in the Muslim world -- which was
> strong in January 2004 -- will deteriorate, and al Qaeda's influence will
> increase dramatically.
> The Political Crisis
> It is not clear that the Bush administration understands the crisis it is
> facing. The prison abuse pictures are symptomatic -- not only of
> command failure, but also of the administration's loss of credibility with
> the public. Since no one really knows what the administration is doing, it
> not unreasonable to fill in the blanks with the least generous
> The issue is this: Iraq has not gone as planned by any stretch of the
> imagination. If the failures of Iraq are not rectified quickly, the entire
> U.S. strategic position could unravel. Speed is of the essence. There is
> longer time left.
> The issue is one of responsibility. Who is responsible for the failures in
> Iraq? The president appears to have assumed that if anyone were fired, it
> would be admitting that something went wrong. At this point, there is no
> who doesn't know that many things have gone wrong. If the president
> on retaining all of his senior staff, Cabinet members and field
> no one is going to draw the conclusion that everything is under control;
> rather they will conclude that it is the president himself who is
> for the failures, and they will act accordingly.
> The issue facing Bush is not merely the prison pictures. It is the series
> failures in the Iraq campaign that have revealed serious errors of
> and temperament among senior Cabinet-level officials. We suspect that
> Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is finished, and with him Deputy Secretary Paul
> Wolfowitz. Vice President Dick Cheney said over the weekend that everyone
> should get off of Rumsfeld's case. What Cheney doesn't seem to grasp is
> there is a war on and that at this moment, it isn't going very well. If
> secretary of defense doesn't bear the burden of failures and misjudgments,
> who does? Or does the vice president suggest a no-fault policy when it
> to war? Or does he think that things are going well?
> This is not asked polemically. It is our job to identify emerging trends,
> we have, frequently, been accused of everything from being owned by the
> Republicans to being Iraq campaign apologists. In fact, we are making a
> partisan point: The administration is painting itself into a corner that
> cost Bush the presidency if it does not deal with the fact that there is
> one who doesn't know that Iraq has been mismanaged. The administration's
> option for survival is to start managing it effectively, if that can be
> at this point.
> (c) 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.
> http://www.stratfor.com>>
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