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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » McCain: I have no confidence in Rumsfeld

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Author Topic: McCain: I have no confidence in Rumsfeld
RickyB
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Extra, Extra, read all about it!
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=703&e=1&u=/ap/20041213/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/mccain_interview

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ed
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so...mccain's positioning to be the 2008 nominee, i see.

ed

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javelin
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McCain always calls them as he sees them, and he's right sometimes too! [Wink]
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RickyB
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Like this time. [Big Grin]
I seriously can't see how anyone can defend McNamara anymore. The guy's brilliant and ballsy, but he's screwed up once too often in this escapade.

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xzywx
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i do not know who is McCain
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xzywx
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who can tell me
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RickyB
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John McCain. Republican Senator from Arizona, very conservative but popular with democrats for his unusually high degree of honesty and repeated willingness to butt heads with his own party. Mentioned as possible candidate for president in 2008. Lost the Republican candidacy to current president George Bush in 2000.

Welcome to Ornery.

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aupton15
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I wonder how he would propose to get more troops over there? He's talking about specialists, so unless there are linguists who aren't in Iraq already it sounds like we have to train them first. It doesn't sound like his problems with the troop numbers and types could be resolved by a draft (something that has come up frequently with this war). I like McCain, but I'd like to hear a little bit more about how he would like to see this done.
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ATW
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ATW to Rumsfeld: I have to confidence in McCain
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ed
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aupton: i believe mccain's idea is to send a much larger contingent right now, w/ the idea of returning to the powell doctrine of overwhelming force to help reduce casualties. it's the only interpretation that makes sense.

ed

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aupton15
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I agree ed, but where do these troops come from? The article suggests that he wants the right kind of troops. If those exist already, where are they? Can we move them from other locations without causing security problems there? And if we don't have these specialized troops yet, would they have to be recruited and trained? If we can train people already in the army for these positions, how many people do we have to recruit to replace them? It's fine to say we need more troops, but where do they come from?
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ed
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presumably, when mccain announces his candidacy for 2008, he'll have a plan by then. :>

ed

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RickyB
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I'm pretty sure there are Arabic linguists in America who haven't been tapped by the army. Pay them enough and some will risk it.

Same with other kinds - create them. Enlist them. Train them. It's been 21 months. No excuse for not having done it yet.

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aupton15
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How long do you think a project like that could take Ricky? I agree that if it were to be done, the process should have been started long ago. But there really isn't much incentive to enlisting in wartime to work for a relatively low salary and a pretty high risk. I'm assuming most of the patriots who are fighting for love of country have already signed up. Supply and demand might dictate raising the income for new specialist recruits, but the rest of the military might not see it that way. It will be interesting to see if the Bush administration reluctantly pursues this course if the election doesn't go off as cleanly as they hope.
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RickyB
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"But there really isn't much incentive to enlisting in wartime to work for a relatively low salary and a pretty high risk"

Why must the salary be relatively low? You say the rest of the military will object, but that's not an insormountable problem by any means. Also, I have to assume that linguists aren't terribly well compensated in civilian life either, so bidding competitively for their services shouldn't be prohibitive.

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aupton15
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Well, you'd have to pay more than civilian rates for the possibility that they could be kidnapped and beheaded. Also, I'm thinking more broadly of training new soldiers to replace specialists that could be taken from the current ranks. In other words, if you get some specialists from a division in the army, you have to replace that person with a new recruit. Those are the positions that aren't going to pay well and carry a high risk. The best solution is probably to train specialists from the active ranks and just don't replace them. It will keep us undermanned, but it does make the number that are over there better equipped to deal with the situations they are facing.
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RickyB
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"Well, you'd have to pay more than civilian rates for the possibility that they could be kidnapped and beheaded"

Obviously. [Smile]

What I said was that since these guys ain't making fortunes as civilians, doing so won't bankrupt the public coffers.

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aupton15
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Perhaps. I'd like to see the plan laid out a little more clearly by McCain. If it is as simple as it sounds, I think there would be a public push behind it. The public probably won't influence the administration as much as it would have last term, but it will still influence representatives who are up for election in two and four years from now.
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RickyB
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Nothing is simple. that's not the point.

Look, it's no coincidence that Rumsfeld was so adamant about the low troop count. This adventure, done right, would have cost a HUUUUUGE amount of money, as well as troops. It would have required either enlisting hundreds of thousand more troops, or stretching the existing troops from other places way too thin. Rumsfeld knew that he wouldn't be able to pass the real cost of this adventure, so he insisted it could be done way cheaper.

Of course, if we were able to get say 100K troops from other nations, it would have been different. I don't know if anyone could have done that, but this administration didn't even bother to try seriously. It took pleasure in dissing potential allies.

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aupton15
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I see what you're saying. And I definitely think this war was mishandled from the beginning. I just want to hear McCain's proposed solution at this point in a little more detail. I really like McCain, and I'm not suggesting his plan wouldn't work, I just didn't see the details of what he would want to do.
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ed
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well, this is interesting: trent lott appears to agree with mccain. that's more than a tad unexpected, IMHO.

ed

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RickyB
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I dunno. Lott has it in for the administration for not standing up for him over the "Strom had it right in '48" brouhaha. I think McCain is absolutely right, of course, but I don't think Lott's support adds much to validate this.
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aupton15
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I wouldn't want to lump the two together, but on this issue they're probably coming from the same direction, and they're probably going to gain even more numbers now that a voice has spoken out. This is an issue where the perception is that the military has been wronged, and that's going to get the attention of the conservatives in Congress. They may not be ideologically very similar, but it shouldn't come as any surprise that they both want the military to be as prepared as possible. If they aren't prepared, there are going to be a lot more of these voices getting louder until some change is made. It would take amazing stubbornness and/or loyalty for neither Bush nor Rumsfeld to take action in getting a new secretary of defense in office in the next year. Both of those qualities exist in this administration, so it will be interesting to see how this turns out.
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