Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Rumsfeld's war against the military

  1. Apr 14, 2006 #1

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I think it's reached the time where Rumsfeld has to resign. From this article, it's apparent the military has lost all confidence in Rumsfeld.

    Generals want Rumsfeld to resign

    Rumsfeld is losing his war against retired generals 6-1, so far (and DeLong's full statement still carried the caveat that the military could have used more troops in Iraq).

    If this were just retired Army generals, you could think there's more to the story than just Iraq. The Army has disliked Rumsfeld ever since the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review that emphasized a lighter, faster force designed for the types of battles the military had fought in the last couple decades before Iraq (the high tech Air Force and Navy haven't complained about Rumsfeld). The large, heavy armies capable of invading and holding and securing occupied territories were considered obsolete by Rumsfeld (i.e. - the kind of war we're fighting in Iraq). Rumsfeld really ticked off the Army by making a retired Navy captain the Secretary of the Army (Rumsfeld's Man).

    Instead, it's about a 50-50 mix between retired Army and Marine generals - the two services carrying the bulk of the load in Iraq.

    You could say the generals' comments would carry more weight if they had had the courage to make those comments while on active duty. Army Gen Shinsecki had the courage to publicly state he thought we needed a lot more troops to keep peace in Iraq and it effectively ended his career - rightfully so. Whatever the fight put up behind closed doors, it's inappropriate for active duty generals to go around their civilian authority via the news media. In a normal situation, generals making disparaging comments so soon after retiring may not technically fall in the area of undermining civilian authority, but it would be seen as poor taste, at least.

    The fact that it's turning into a parade of retired generals that barely wait until they're outside the door to attack Rumsfeld is hopefully as close to military coup as the US ever gets (The Revolt Against Rumsfeld). I think it's clear Rumsfeld isn't capable of leading the military anymore.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2006 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Gen. Riggs Joins in Calling for Rumsfeld to Quit
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5340711

    Now if the rest of the country would wake up and take note of the arrogance and belligerence of the Bush administration. :grumpy:

    On the other hand - Rumsfeld has his supporters such as Dan Goure of Lexington Institute

    Rumsfeld Should Stay as Head of Defense - Goure's Commentary
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5341022
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2006
  4. Apr 14, 2006 #3
    That's the sticky point. There are a lot of folks who believe this administration can do no wrong.
     
  5. Apr 14, 2006 #4

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Goure's support would probably be more effective if he mentioned at least one success instead of commenting solely on Rumsfeld's personality. His support carried about as much substance as General Pace's:

    Sounds similar to one of those (hopefully) fictitious, but humorous comments from Officer Evaluation Reports: "If effort, dedication, and commitment are what matters, this officer should be promoted immediately. If results are the objective, this officer has passed his zenith."

    Edit: In fact, Pace's compliment reminds me of another famous compliment: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2006
  6. Apr 14, 2006 #5

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl: Well, same could be said of Nixon - he worked nights and on weekends, and he did his homework. The problem was some the work was illegal.

    In the case of Rumsfeld, he perhaps undermined the army and its ability to perform in the field. Rumsfeld said " you got to war with the army you've got." But they had 3 years to prepare the army with appropriate bullet proof vests and armoured vehicles. They started planning before the election in 2000.
     
  7. Apr 14, 2006 #6

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Would that even matter? The only people with the power, so far as I know, to remove Rumsfeld are Bush and Rumsfeld. The guy should have left with Ashcroft after the last election at the very latest. It'll take an absolute disaster to get him out at this point.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2006 #7

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should do the honorable and right thing - and RESIGN!!!!!

    But I don't believe they are honorable people. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Apr 15, 2006 #8
    There is one odd twist to all of this. Bush frequently reminds us that he will make changes in the way the war is being conducted when he is asked to do so by his Commanders on the ground. Active duty officers can not complain or request anything directly from the president.

    Everything goes up through the chain of command and Rumsfeld and others in the Pentagon are in that chain of command. They censor everything before it reaches the president. (not that it would make any difference)

    As far as commanders on the ground, they know that any request for a change in current methods of fighting the war could also be career ending. That is why the complaints are comming from retired officers.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2006 #9

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I thought Gen Shinsecki made that statement in response to a question during a Senate briefing, or somesuch ... ?
     
  11. Apr 15, 2006 #10

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You're right, which is a completely different situation than going around the SecDef through the press.
     
  12. Apr 16, 2006 #11

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I must admit to not having paid much attention to this befre a few days ago. I used to have a pretty high opinion of Rumsfeld. The military used to hate him because he cut programs they liked. And I liked that - generals never want to cut anything, even when things need to be cut. The brass is just as guilty as anyone for hanging on to the cold war mentality (the Navy culture, in particular, really pisses me off).

    Opinions about whether or not the war should have been fought are irrelevant: people disagree about such things and it isn't the generals' decision on where to go. But they are welcome to their opinion.

    What bothers me, though, are the charges of micromanagement of the military. That's bad leadership - its something I hated Clinton for (Somalia) - and if the generals can't trust Rumsfeld to trust them to do their jobs, then he can't lead them effectively and they can't prosecute the war effectively.

    I think Rumsfeld should go as well.

    However, at this point in his presidency, I don't think it helps Bush any to get rid of him - even if he wanted to (which he probably doesn't), he won't.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2006
  13. Apr 16, 2006 #12

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think we all need to take into account the number of generals that are currently active in the US military when we think 6 or 7 of them speak for the majority....
     
  14. Apr 17, 2006 #13

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You get up to 1 year in prison for openly criticizing a superior in the chain of command - article 134 of the USMJ.
     
  15. Apr 17, 2006 #14

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I recently listened to a half-hour interview with (retd.) Gen. Bernard Trainor, author of Cobra II : The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq. When asked whether he (Trainor) would join the others in calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, he replied that he wouldn't because he doesn't wish to involve himself in the politics of it. If, however, you listen to the things he had to say about Rumsfeld's role, you hear a long list of actions and decisions (taken despite recommendations to the contrary coming from the theater and the military planners) that jeopardized several strategic and tactical advantages held by the US Army.

    Micromanagement was only one of a long list of errors on Rumsfeld's part.
     
  16. Apr 17, 2006 #15

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You're right - I kinda umbrella'd that. Things like not listening to the Generals about prewar planning could kinda be considered micromanagement, but yes, they go beyond it.
     
  17. Apr 24, 2006 #16

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    This article (Defending Rumsfeld From the Generals) provides a little balance to what Rumsfeld did right and what Rumsfeld did wrong.

    Rumsfeld's vision for transforming the military into a single interoperable entity (vs. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines operating independently) is the reason I was a big fan of his at the start of the Bush administration. His vision works for the types of wars you could expect the US to fight. Now a days, the US isn't typically called upon to invade and occupy a foreign country. The military usually responds to a problem, solves it, and gets out (except for a few cases where the US responded, didn't solve the problem, and got out).

    Deciding to invade and occupy a foreign country, pre-emptively, was the big mistake. Once the big mistake was made, Rumsfeld failed to adapt to reality; failed to adapt to what the big mistake meant to his idea of the military.
     
  18. Apr 24, 2006 #17

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    According to Gen. Trainor, while the field Generals were engaged in incorporating plans for the occupation into the overall invasion strategy (based on nearly two decades worth of military modeling aimed specifically at this scenario), Rumsfeld appeared to be adamantly in denial of the need for an occupying/stabilizing force of any significant size.

    That (IMO) is just blatant and mindless disregard for the countless man-hours put in by the State Dept, military planners and the DIA on preparing a comprehensive military strategy for an occupation of Iraq.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  19. Apr 24, 2006 #18

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It's more like "blatant and mindless denial of reality." Can we say "incompetent!"
     
  20. Apr 24, 2006 #19

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1885285

    It takes 2 republican votes for the hearings to be held. Now's another good time to ask the question "What will McCain do ?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2006
  21. Apr 25, 2006 #20

    SOS2008

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well than I vote to keep Rummy. That way if Bush tries to impose Martial Law or suspend elections, there won't be military support. :tongue:

    The MO -- Sounds similar to so-called congressional oversight of the NSA Spying program.

    The fact is Rumsfeld has made several significant tactical errors. From an USA Today article entitiled "Generals defend Rumsfeld but cite 'severe' errors" - http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-16-myers-rumsfeld_x.htm

    Beyond that, I'm not as concerned about Rumsfeld's management style as I am his personality and the poor way he represents our country -- Of course the same thing can be said about the "decider" (Commander-in-Chief). For those who may have forgotten:

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/helenthomas/7615012/detail.html

    I thought "dignitaries" were supposed to have dignity. What legitimate member of government says "stuff happens" or "people are free to commit crimes"? Bush and Cheney lack good public relations skills too. The entire cabal is an embarrassment, and that's the kindest thing that can be said.

    As for the neocons who dreamed up this whole mess, they still say the invasion was the right thing to do. They can't show how Saddam was more of a threat to the U.S. than many other leaders in the world, and they still can't show how the invasion was part of the larger war on terror (other than fueling it). Perhaps by spreading democracy? But they never tell you how that would really be accomplished. These are the idiots who think Rummy has been doing a fine job.

    I think it would help his standing with everyone except the Bush base.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Rumsfeld's war against the military
  1. Rumsfeld's War (Replies: 3)

Loading...