November 07, 2006

Military Times editorial: ‘Rumsfeld must go’

Published in the Nov. 13 issue of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, on newsstands Monday, the editorial says it is time for the president “to face the hard bruising truth.”

“His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt,” the newspapers say.

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on “critical” and has been sliding toward “chaos” for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.

But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don’t show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

and from the forum:

As a Norwegian former professional soldier who served in the Kosova, may I say how good it is to see the US military institution finally exercising their professional sense? My Iraqi friends are totally speechless over the handling your staff has conducted down there. Donald Rumsfeld should have been fired after Fallujah by direct military demand, if not before, wich was where you decisevily lost the initative in the Iraq war and pissed of all the major clans. That was, I believe, a direct order from Rumsfeld and Cheney, to employ the iron hammer.

As a bachelor in history and a military man, let me presume to make one comment/suggestion that those who read it may spread around:1) Solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by slapping Israel a bit around the ears. The killing of unarmed women is despicable, and offends all muslims. 2) Bolster the UN, and give them operational brigade-level multinational force-capability with a European doctrine. Relinquish this US doctrine of nationalism and employ foreign soldiers into roman legions under UN command. And yes, this means that US war-criminals will be equal to all the rest. The war against islam is not a winnable war, but a surefire way to bring on the dogs of war on all of us.

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