Judging Rummy

Thursday, November 09, 2006 | 09:46 AM

I am utterly perplexed why this happened NOW instead of 2 months ago -- at least from a political perspective.

The WSJ polled readers, asking:  How would you grade Rumsfeld's performance as defense secretary?


The amazing thing is that 23% of those polled gave Rumsfeld  an "A" or a "B." I guess all that talk about personal responsiblility was just so much more ideological bullshit . . .

Thursday, November 09, 2006 | 09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (53) | TrackBack (0)
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There have been rumors published in the press for some time that Rummy was going to go. Read Bush's news conference for an explanation of why he waited until after the election to unload Rummy.

Stratfor also had some interesting things to say this morning:

Rumsfeld's primary goal, and the reason that U.S. President George W. Bush brought him into the government in the first place, was to bring about a seminal shift in the shape of the U.S. military. He sought to skip over an entire generation of military hardware -- such as the F-22, which is only now entering the military's toolkit -- and instead focus on the development of fundamentally new technologies, so that 20 years from now the United States would be fielding technology two generations ahead of any potential foes.

* * *

Rumsfeld's biggest failing was not his plan, or even his execution of it. It was that reality intervened, in the form of the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war, and he refused to shift course in midstream. Rumsfeld was designing a military that could defeat state power by the precise applications of force while minimizing the exposure of U.S. forces; but the U.S.-jihadist war brought to the table a foe that thrived in chaotic regions where state control was weak or nonexistent. Rumsfeld's plan could overturn the Taliban or Saddam Hussein's government, but it could not muster the manpower necessary to impose order on the resulting chaos. Without sufficient "boots on the ground," the United States has proven unable to deny militants the environment in which they thrive.

The nature of the war the United States found itself fighting changed, and Rumsfeld demonstrated over and over that he lacked the ability to change with it.

What I want to know is, why did Perle, Wolfowitz and the other neo-con architects of the Iraq war wait until just before the election to admit they were wrong? Were were they, oh, say, a year ago?

Posted by: GRL | Nov 9, 2006 10:10:33 AM

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