We now have six retired Generals who think for whatever reason that Rummy should find a new line of work.
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., 82nd Airborne:
“We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores,” General Swannack said in a telephone interview. “But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq.”
General Riggs told National Public Radio that Mr Rumsfeld had instilled a culture of arrogance among the civilian administrators of the war.
“They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda. I think that’s a mistake, and that’s why I think he should resign.”
Compare these statements with what the previous four retired generals actually said:
Maj. Gen. John Batiste, First Infantry:
“He went to war with a flawed plan. He didn’t account for the hard work to build the peace after we took down the regime.”
…”We also served under a secretary of defense who didn’t understand leadership, who was abusive, who was arrogant, who didn’t build a strong team.”
With the encouragement of some still in positions of military leadership, I offer a challenge to those still in uniform: a leader’s responsibility is to give voice to those who can’t–or don’t have the opportunity to–speak.
…What we are living with now is the consequences of successive policy failures. Some of the missteps include: the distortion of intelligence in the buildup to the war, McNamara-like micromanagement that kept our forces from having enough resources to do the job, the failure to retain and reconstitute the Iraqi military in time to help quell civil disorder, the initial denial that an insurgency was the heart of the opposition to occupation, alienation of allies who could have helped in a more robust way to rebuild Iraq, and the continuing failure of the other agencies of our government to commit assets to the same degree as the Defense Department. My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions–or bury the results.
Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton:
In sum, he has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone else responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld must step down.
In the five years Mr. Rumsfeld has presided over the Pentagon, I have seen a climate of groupthink become dominant and a growing reluctance by experienced military men and civilians to challenge the notions of the senior leadership.
…Mr. Rumsfeld has put the Pentagon at the mercy of his ego, his cold warrior’s view of the world and his unrealistic confidence in technology to replace manpower.
In remarks on Sunday on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, a former commander of Central Command for the Middle East, said Rumsfeld, among others, should be held accountable for tactical mistakes in Iraq.
Asked who should resign, Zinni said, “Secretary of Defense, to begin with,” adding that resignations should also come from others responsible for planning the war effort and military officials who sat by without pointing out potential problems.
It honestly surprises me that nobody has offered to step up in Rummy’s defense. Is Tommy Franks really that busy? In a pinch they can always retire Lt. Gen. William Boykin.