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Yet Another Post Likely To Really Make Some Folks Mad.

I was talking with my Dad earlier about the upcoming election, and it’s interesting to discover that the ol’ man is even more cynical about the way government works than I am. However, he did raise one very intersting point: Kerry’s constant carping that things in Iraq are being done wrong is not an indictment of Bush so much as a slight to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, the Generals in the theatre, and the commanders in the field.

Dad’s point being that it isn’t the President who does all of the logistics for a war. Sure, he has final say, but most of the planning is done by the high-level military commanders. So, to say that the war is being administered wrongly is to attack the capability of those actually doing most of the planning, not the President. This is not a very smart thing for a man who wants the Presidency to do. Kerry would, of course, appoint a new Secretary of Defense, but the folks over at the DoD and the Joint Chiefs will be the same. Would those folks really work well with a man who’s spent the election cycle questioning their abilities? Just a thought.

  1. LSU Tiger says:

    Remember: troop strength does not mean how many infantry soldiers with bayonets there are in country. There is a huge tail of paper pushers for every squad of killers on the battlefield. THEY make sure they get the newest body armor, of course.

    We can’t afford ceramic plates for body armor because the Air Force wants F-22s. They can’t afford JDAMs because the Army wants to develop the Styker instead of using Bradleys.

    And they’re still using the same boots that I got issued 10+ years ago.

    THOSE are the problems with the military, notwithstanding the PC crowd, using training days to promote Mexican American awareness week. Hey, bullets to the same things to all of our bodies.

  2. Timothy says:

    ‘Tis true that it’s a distraction, but I thought it was at least a mildly interesting distraction, at least.

  3. Danimal says:

    Seems a distraction point to me. Career military brass are well accustomed to dealing with the posturing, second-guessing, and unreasonable demands of their ever-reshuffled political leadership. Being highly professional, they’ll work as well with a Kerry Sec Def as they have Rumsfeld, whose dreams of forging a leaner, more flexible armed forces have ruffled more than a few Pentagon feathers.

    Inasmuch as this relates to Iraq war planning, I’d say blame for any inadequacies in troop strength can easily be set upon Rummy’s shoulders. I can’t recollect the exact numbers, but in keeping with his philosophy, Rummy initially wanted to go into Iraq with an ultra-lean Afghanistan style attack, with about 70,000 troops. The brass, conversely, put forth a more conventional full-force invasion of 200,000.

    What we ended up with was in part a compromise and in part unavoidable. The brass would have preferred greater numbers, but after Turkey refused to let us operate from its borders, we were faced with waiting to move those forces to the Persian Gulf, or going ahead with less. Due in no small part to Rummy’s warfighting philosophy, the decision was made to go ahead with less.

    Which is not to dismiss the point entirely. Just a couple days ago, for instance, AP pointed out something I was not aware of — that Tommy Franks takes the credit/blame for the “Mission Accomplished” gaffe.

    Still, this is a distraction. Where does (should) the buck stop, for Christ’s sake?

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