Friday, September 08, 2006

Time for a Major Change?

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, seems to be a likeable guy. Like everyone else, I have been listening to many retired Generals calling for his replacement due to a lack of an "exit strategy". Now, a retiring Brigadier General from Ft. Eustis in Newport News, VA, is speaking out too. Eustis chief: Iraq post-war plan muzzled Army Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, an early planner of the war, tells about challenges of invasion and rebuilding.
Months before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said Thursday. In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said "he would fire the next person" who talked about the need for a post-war plan. Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff in 2003, after Shinseki told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure post-war Iraq. Scheid, who is also the commander of Fort Eustis in Newport News, made his comments in an interview with the Daily Press. He retires in about three weeks.
All these retiring generals are doing a great job of giving the American people a different view of what has been going on in Iraq. It would have been nice if they had gone to the President with their concerns a long time ago. If Rumsfeld isn't up to the job, he should be replaced, immediately. I continue to support our troops AND their mission. I am not terribly supportive of the way it's being handled, from a distance. This is the same sort of problem we had with Vietnam. Politicians are running the show from their nice comfy offices thousands of miles away from the realities of war.
On Sept. 10, 2001, he was selected to be the chief of logistics war plans. On Sept. 11, 2001, he said, "life just went to hell." That day, Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of Central Command, told his planners, including Scheid, to "get ready to go to war." A day or two later, Rumsfeld was "telling us we were going to war in Afghanistan and to start building the war plan. We were going to go fast. "Then, just as we were barely into Afghanistan ... Rumsfeld came and told us to get ready for Iraq." Scheid said he remembers everyone thinking, "My gosh, we're in the middle of Afghanistan, how can we possibly be doing two at one time? How can we pull this off? It's just going to be too much."
After our military had been decimated during the Clinton years, I can understand this gentleman's hesitation. However, this IS the United States military we're talking about here, and they are the greatest in the world.
Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said. "I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.
Ok, now that sounds like plain old ego, IMHO. But what do I know.
"In his own mind he thought we could go in and fight and take out the regime and come out. But a lot of us planners were having a real hard time with it because we were also thinking we can't do this. Once you tear up a country you have to stay and rebuild it. It was very challenging." Even if the people who laid out the initial war plans had fleshed out post-invasion missions, the fighting and insurgent attacks going on today would have been hard to predict, Scheid said. We've been underestimating the zeal of the Islamofascists for decades now, isn't it time to rethink on how to deal with the war on terror? "Now we're going more toward a civil war. We didn't see that coming." While Scheid, a soldier since 1977, spoke candidly about the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq, he remains concerned about the American public's view of the troops. He's bothered by the nationwide divide over the war and fearful that patriotism among citizens will continue to decline. "We're really hurting right now," he said.
It would be really nice if the left wing moonbats would put aside their obsessive hatred of the Bush administration, and start coming up with some constructive ideas on how to actually WIN, instead of whining and insisting on the "cut and run" maneuver. These people want you dead, want your children dead, and they want to destroy anything and everything freedom stands for in the entire world. Once they have finished with the Christians, Jews, Budists, etc. they'll continue the killing of fellow Muslims who don't agree with their ideology. No, we CAN'T "just all get along". Face it! NOW!