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1 26th August 13:29
si-salah
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Default Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq


The Generals Speak

Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq

By PAUL ALEXANDER


The nine**** months since the war in Iraq began, some of the most outspoken
critics of President Bush's plan of attack have come from a group that
should have been the most supportive: retired senior military leaders. We
spoke with a group of generals and admirals that included a former supreme
Allied commander and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and they all
agreed on one thing: Bush screwed up.

Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak
Air Force chief of staff, 1990-94
We have a force in Iraq that's much too small to stabilize the situation.
It's about half the size, or maybe even a third, of what we need. As a
consequence, the insurgency seems to be gathering momentum. We are losing
people at a fairly steady rate of about two a day; wounded, about four or
five times that, and perhaps half of these wounds are very serious. And we
are also sustaining gunshot wounds, when, before, we'd mostly been seeing
massive trauma from remotely detonated charges. This means the other side is
standing and fighting in a way that describes a more dangerous phase of the
conflict.
The people in control in the Pentagon and the White House live in a fantasy
world. They actually thought everyone would just line up and vote for a new
democracy and you would have a sort of Denmark with oil. I blame Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the people behind him -- Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary Douglas Feith. The vice
president himself should probably be included; certainly his wife. These
so-called neocons: These people have no real experience in life. They are
utopian thinkers, idealists, very smart, and they have the courage of their
convictions, so it makes them doubly dangerous.
The parallels between Iraq and Vietnam have been overblown, because we were
in Vietnam for a decade and it cost us 58,000 troops. We've been in Iraq for
nine**** months and we're still under 1,200 killed. But there is one sense
in which the parallel with Vietnam is valid. The American people were told
that to win the Cold War we had to win Vietnam. But we now know that Vietnam
was not only a diversion from winning the Cold War but probably delayed our
winning it and made it cost more to win. Iraq is a diversion to the war on
terror in exactly the same way Vietnam was a diversion to the Cold War.

Adm. Stansfield Turner
NATO Allied commander for Southern Europe, 1975-77; CIA director, 1977-81
I think we are in a real mess. There are eighty-seven attacks on Americans
every day, and our people in Baghdad can't even leave the International Zone
without being heavily armored. I think we are in trouble because we were so
slow in terms of reconstruction and reconstituting the military and police
forces. We have lost the support of the Iraqi people who were glad to see
Saddam go. But they are not glad to see an outside force come in and replace
him without demonstrating we are going to provide them with security and
rebuild their economy. I am very frustrated. Having a convincing rationale
for going in gives our troops a sense of purpose. Whatever you call it, this
is now an insurgency using the techniques of terrorism. With the borders
poorly guarded, the terrorists come in. All in all, Iraq is a failure of
monumental proportions.

Lt. Gen. William Odom
Director of the National Security Agency, 1985-88
It's a huge strategic disaster, and it will only get worse. The sooner we
leave, the less the damage. In the months since the invasion, the U.S.
forces have become involved in trying to repress a number of insurgency
movements. This is the way we were fighting in Vietnam, and if we keep on
fighting this way, this one is going to go on a long time too. The idea of
creating a constitutional state in a short amount of time is a joke. It will
take ten to fif**** years, and that is if we want to kill ten percent of the
population.

Gen. Anthony Zinni
Commander in chief of the United States Central Command, 1997-2000
The first phase of the war in Iraq, the conventional phase, the major combat
phase, was brilliantly done. Tommy Franks' approach to methodically move up
and attack quickly probably saved a great humanitarian disaster. But the
military was unprepared for the aftermath. Rumsfeld and others thought we
would be greeted with roses and flowers.
When I was commander of CENTCOM, we had a plan for an invasion of Iraq, and
it had specific numbers in it. We wanted to go in there with 350,000 to
380,000 troops. You didn't need that many people to defeat the Republican
Guard, but you needed them for the aftermath. We knew that we would find
ourselves in a situation where we had completely uprooted an authoritarian
government and would need to freeze the situation: retain control, retain
order, provide security, seal the borders to keep terrorists from coming in.
When I left in 2000, General Franks took over. Franks was my
ground-component commander, so he was well aware of the plan. He had
participated in it; those were the numbers he wanted. So what happened
between him and Rumsfeld and why those numbers got altered, I don't know,
because when we went in we used only 140,000 troops, even though General
Eric Shinseki, the army commander, asked for the original number.
Did we have to do this? I saw the intelligence right up to the day of the
war, and I did not see any imminent threat there. If anything, Saddam was
coming apart. The sanctions were working. The containment was working. He
had a hollow military, as we saw. If he had weapons of mass destruction, it
was leftover stuff -- artillery shells and rocket rounds. He didn't have the
delivery systems. We controlled the skies and seaports. We bombed him at
will. All of this happened under U.N. authority. I mean, we had him by the
throat. But the president was being convinced by the neocons that down the
road we would regret not taking him out.

Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy
Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence, 1997-2000
From the beginning, i was asked which side I took, Shinseki's or Rumsfeld's.
And I said Shinseki. I mean, Rumsfeld proudly announced that he had told
General Franks to fight this war with different tactics in which they would
bypass enemy strongholds and enemy resistance and keep on moving. But it was
shocking to me that the secretary of defense would tell the Army how to
fight. He doesn't know how to fight; he has no business telling them. It's
completely within civilian authority to tell you where to fight, what our
major objective is, but it is absolutely no one's business but uniformed
military to tell you how to do the job. To me, it was astonishing that
Rumsfeld would presume to tell four-star generals, in the Army thirty-five
years, how to do their jobs.
Now here's another thing that Rumsfeld did. As he was being briefed on the
war plan, he was cherry-picking the units to go. In other words, he didn't
just approve the deployment list, he went down the list and skipped certain
units that were at a higher degree of readiness to go and picked units that
were lower on the list -- for reasons we don't know. But here's the impact:
Recently, at an event, a mother told me how her son had been recruited and
trained as a cook. Three weeks before he deployed to Iraq, he was told he
was now a gunner. And they gave him training for three weeks, and then off
he went.
Rumsfeld was profoundly in the dark. I think he really didn't understand
what he was doing. He miscalculated the kind of war it was and he
miscalculated the interpretation of U.S. behavior by the Iraqi people. They
felt they had been invaded. They did not see this as a liberation.
As for the recent news about the 380 tons of explosives that disappeared,
it's irrelevant when they disappeared. This was known by the International
Atomic Energy Agency as a site to be watched. Here is the issue: Bush tried
to turn this into a political matter instead of answering questions about
why he didn't follow the warnings of the IAEA. It was another example of
Bush being a cheerleader instead of a leader. Nothing in Iraq was guarded
except for the oil fields, which tells you why we were there. There are any
number of indications that with a larger troop strength we would have been
able to deal with such sites. Here is my other concern: The IAEA gave us a
list of sites to be watched, so there may have been other dumps that were
looted. After all, you don't just put one item on a list.
So what do we do? I think it would be very irresponsible for us to simply
pull out. It sounds like a very simple solution, but it would have some
complexity and danger attached. Still, Iraq is a blood bath, and we need to
be dealing with this in a much more sophisticated way than the cowboy named
Bush.

Gen. Wesley Clark
NATO supreme Allied commander for Europe, 1997-2000
Troop strength was not the only problem. We got into this mess because the
Bush administration decided what they really wanted to do was to invade
Iraq, and then the only question was, for what reason? They developed two or
three different reasons. It wasn't until the last minute that they came up
and said, "Hey, by the way, we are going to create a wave of democracy
across the Middle East." That was February of 2003, and by that time they


strategy to win the war on terror? Do we have the right organization to win
the war on terror? How are we going to know if we are not winning the war on
terror? As it has turned out, the guys on the ground are doing what they are
told to do. But let's ask this question: Have you seen an American strategic
blunder this large? The answer is: not in fifty years. I can't imagine when
the last one was. And it's not just about troop strength. I mean, you will
fail if you don't have enough troops, but simply adding troops won't make
you succeed.

Adm. William Crowe
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1985-89
We screwed up. we were intent on a quick victory with smaller forces, and we
felt if we had a military victory everything else would fall in place. We
would be viewed not as occupiers but as victors. We would draw down to
30,000 people within the first sixty days.
All of this was sheer nonsense.They thought that once Iraq fell we'd have a
similar effect throughout the Middle East and terrorism would evaporate,
blah, blah, blah. All of these were terrible assumptions. A State Department
study advising otherwise was sent to Rumsfeld, but he threw it in the
wastebasket. He overrode the military and was just plain stubborn on
numbers. Finally the military said OK, and they totally underestimated the
impact the desert had on our equipment and the kind of troops we would need
for peacekeeping. They ignored Shinseki. The Marines were advising the same
way. But the military can only go so far. Once the civilian leadership
decides otherwise, the military is obliged.
There is not a very good answer for what to do next. We've pulled out of
several places without achieving our objectives, and every time we predicted
the end of Western civilization, which it was not. We left Korea after not
achieving anything we wanted to do, and it didn't hurt us very much. We left
Vietnam -- took us ten years to come around to doing it -- but we didn't
achieve what we wanted. Everyone said it would set back our foreign policy
in East Asia for ten years. It set it back about two months. Our allies
thought we were crazy to be in Vietnam.
We could have the same thing happen this time in Iraq. If we walk away, we
are still the number-one superpower in the world. There will be turmoil in
Iraq, and how that will affect our oil supply, I don't know. But the
question to ask is: Is what we are achieving in Iraq worth what we're
paying? Weighing the good against the bad, we have got to get out.
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2 26th August 13:29
mohammed abacha
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Default Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq


How do you know this?
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3 26th August 13:29
si-salah
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Posts: 1
Default Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq


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4 26th August 13:29
mohammed abacha
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Default Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq


<snip> but here is his other post:

From: Abu-Alwafa (almared.alarabi@yahoo.com)
Subject: To Golani , ( confidential)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.lebanon
Date: 1999/10/19

PLEASE this post is confidential, No body read it , it's personal message to
my good comrade Golani

Golani Ya 3ezizi

you mentiontion that you enjoy Farid Alatresh songs and music ,,
just to give myself a break from politic and ( weje3 alras )..I would like
to tell that Iam a Farid Alatresh's fan, also I have the ability to
imitate him , I preformed in many private and public parteis and wedding ,
some events had more than 300 audience , I don't drink , but in some
gathering my group get drunk ,,, I have good collection for Fared Alatresh,
since he start singing to last song ( Wardeton min demina ) the Bishareh
Khoury's poet ..
I will be glad to answer any questions regarding this subject ..
Sincerely
Abu-alwafaMessage 24 in thread From: Abu-Alwafa
(almared.alarabi@yahoo.com)Subject: Re: To Golani , ( confidential) View
this article only Newsgroups: soc.culture.lebanonDate: 1999/10/19 Wla abu
Zuzo , Why did you read my post , it's confiential and personal , To
the Gentelman named Golani .. when you became Gentel man or even a man (7af)
you can read it .. any way Fahed Ballan Got his fame in our country Lebanon
....
Lebanese loved him and made him popular ,,,,
FREE THE LEBANESE <sinelfile1@aol.com> wrote in message news:19991018234428.18109.00000299@ng-cl1.aol.com...
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5 26th August 13:29
si-salah
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Posts: 1
Default Seven retired military leaders discuss what has gone wrong in Iraq


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