quote:The paper, which is marked "Secret â€” UK Eyes Only," said "emerging US plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The current troop level is about 160,000.
The memo notes a debate between U.S. officials at the Pentagon and military leaders in Iraq, saying that officials in Washington favor "a relatively bold reduction in force numbers," differing with battlefield commanders, "whose approach is more cautious." There are more than 135,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq.
That's hilarious to hear. When Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld keep saying that they always provide the military commanders with exactly the number of troops that they need -- why do the civilian incompetents in Washington favor a "relateively bold reduction in force numbers" in opposition to "battlefield commanders" who are much more cautious about our ability to draw down American troop levels? Why do they have to deprive our generals of the troops that they need, exactly when those troops are most needed next year (2006)?
One answer -- the incompetents in Pentagon and Washington are executing Operation Cut and Run, Part X before the 2006 elections, just so they can cowardly trade away success in Iraq in order so they do not reap the political whirlwind in 2006 as Americans keep turning against the war in Iraq.
The Bush Administration at its best -- all so eager to invade Iraq in the first place, yet so eager to draw down American troop levels from there in time for the 2006 elections here in the United States. Pathetic.
Those don't sound like concrete plans. They sound like assumptions about when goals will be met -- certain capabilities on the part of the Iraqi security forces, who will and will not still be fighting in Iraq by then. Zarqawi's complaining that too many people are urging him to quit the Iraq thing and trying to rally support against the Iraqi government, saying now that they're the main threat and traitors against... well, you get the picture.
Oh, and it shouldn't surprise anyone that politicians inside the Beltway are coming up with their own political ideas about how and when to get out of Iraq than the US military is.
Why do you say the troops will be needed most next year? You mean, after the Iraqis have developed the first few strings of NCOs? After Iraqi security forces add another couple divisions? After the government is complete and the second set of elections, this time with many more Sunnis, have been completed?
Why do people think Bush is so insincere about getting the job done in Iraq? Pulling out too hard would be the political disaster, and every Republican strategist knows it.
Who said that the "officials in Washington" represented Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, David? Recent weeks have shown the Congressmen, not the Administration, are the ones responding to the polls. When news was getting loud about Congressmen putting pressure on the administration to draw up a timetable, the Bush administration steadfastly said "NO timetable" and even had Bush say so to the troops. If that's not making a political statement about Bush's intentions, nothing is.
I would guess that "officials in Washington" there refers to non-administration officials.
You keep saying we're cutting and running, but here we are two years after the invasion, and still Bush refuses to set a politically convenient timetable to get out. Fallujah, yeah, I could see how you called that cutting and running... although we went back in force and cleaned out that rat's nest with several more divisions of both Army and Marines, and built upon that a strategy of sweeping the river cities in the Sunni triangle and setting up a tough Iraqi security force to keep it clean.
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Er, lots. Just like Daruma28. Just a guess, but I think the intent of both is to provide a jumping-off point for discussion, which kind of entails a POV fer starters.
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The core of THIS ridiculous article is, allegedly, a bone fide memo.
If officials are disagreeing with generals, that probably means the officials are 'civilian brass', such as the officials who disagreed with the generals two years ago about how we should approach Iraq and with how many troops.
The argument leading to the statement:
"I would guess that "officials in Washington" there refers to non-administration officials."
is based on pure speculation with nothing more to inform it that certain cant of thought. (Hint: of course congresspersonsn respond to polls more than apppointed officials. Congresspersons are elected at the polls; officials are appointed by those elected.)
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quote:Originally posted by Funean: Er, lots. Just like Daruma28. Just a guess, but I think the intent of both is to provide a jumping-off point for discussion, which kind of entails a POV fer starters.
I'll take exception to that, Funean -- though not offense or outrage. (I don't take myself that seriously.)
I may post pro-war/Bush threads, but that is not ALL I post or participate in. I most certainly do try and post a lot of other different topics for discussion...as opposed to David's one track - "Bush Administration is incompetent neo-cons stuck in misadventerous quagmires" template. If it isn't a topic or article about that one subject, you won't find Mr. Ricardo anywhere near it. He seems to think Ornery is his personal bash Bush blog...not that it isn't good for debate or discussion or that it can't result in some humor.
If I'm in a particularly argumentative mood, I do know that I can simply log on and look for David's handle without even bothering with the thread title to find an article or opinion piece I usually disagree with.
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Goodness, I just meant that you also frequently post articles that all members might not agree with. My point was that that was a GOOD thing. I picked you 'cause you are usually in the opposite camp from David on this topic, that's all. It's true that you are a multi-trick pony, though.
Who wants to read articles about the weather, or whatever thing there is that we might all agree on (actually, now that I think about it....I'm not sure there IS anything that we could all agree on...)
It's not *pure* speculation. I backed it up by pointing out patterns of behavior:
Congresspeople were the ones the media saw responding to poll pressure (and it was perfectly obvious why they would respond to polls more than admin officials, so it didn't really need saying, or so I thought). Bush and his administration, on the other hand, responded to the polls by firing off a speech in front of a crowd of troops about sticking it out in Iraq until conditions are met for staged withdrawal. Considering how Bush's handlers have been known to send messages over the last five years, my argument certainly has merit.
This morning I ran across a post at QandO that basically agrees with me without going into which officials we're talking about: The British and their Memos
It's the Dems who are beating the drums for withdrawal with their near treasonous comments. The constant barrage of media coverage of Dems in Congress who think it's time for an exit strategy, but who can't come up with one of their own is sickening.
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quote:"That's hilarious to hear. When Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld keep saying that they always provide the military commanders with exactly the number of troops that they need -- why do the civilian incompetents in Washington favor a "relateively bold reduction in force numbers" in opposition to "battlefield commanders" who are much more cautious about our ability to draw down American troop levels? Why do they have to deprive our generals of the troops that they need, exactly when those troops are most needed next year (2006)?
One answer -- the incompetents in Pentagon and Washington are executing Operation Cut and Run, Part X before the 2006 elections, just so they can cowardly trade away success in Iraq in order so they do not reap the political whirlwind in 2006 as Americans keep turning against the war in Iraq."
David, this does not sound set-in-stone at all, but rather, ideas put forth assuming goals for Iraq will be met in the future.
It amazes me how quickly you can twist any media soundbite into a tirade against the Bush Administration and the top brass at the Pentagon/DoD. Again, I find it rather annoying and ironic that you sit at your computer blasting so-called civilian "incompetents" for being, as you view, removed from the pragmatism of actual military commanders/officers. Much the top civilian leadership at the Pentagon/DoD you sit here and bash spent a great majority of their lives in the military and are retired military officers themselves. Just because you disagree with the policy stances of the civilian leadership at the DoD doesn't give you the moral authority to demean their service to our country.
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quote:TODAY'S FRONT PAGE of the Washington Post carries a story about a classified memo from Britain's defense minister to Prime Minister Tony Blair detailing "emerging U.S. plans" to reduce by half the number of soldiers in Iraq by next summer. This would leave American troop levels at around 66,000. The Pentagon has denied there are any fixed plans as yet and reductions will depend on conditions in Iraq.
Although the Pentagon is surely accurate in saying that no final determination to reduce troop levels has been made, it is almost certainly the case that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been pressuring the military to do precisely that. Indeed, we have also heard that the secretary has told his new Afghan commander, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, to try to get U.S. forces substantially out of Afghanistan within two years.
The reason is obvious. As the British memo goes on to say, the U.S. military wants reductions "to bring relief to overall U.S. commitment levels." And there is no question that American forces are stretched thin. Having rejected any idea of significantly expanding the size of American ground forces, the Rumsfeld-led Pentagon is on the verge of breaking the backs of the National Guard and the active duty Army. Moreover, there is no question that the U.S. is ill prepared for another serious crisis that might require the use of American military forces.
But the cost of reducing troop levels in Iraq or Afghanistan will be high. Neither Iraq's nor Afghanistan's militaries will be ready to take on the burden of fighting their respective insurgencies in the time frame Secretary Rumsfeld is pushing for. Creating new and effective institutions like an Iraqi or Afghan army takes time, as does fighting an insurgency. Neither task here is at all impossible but, if rushed, we do risk ultimate failure for lack of patience.
Secretary Rumsfeld has time and again said that he defers to his generals in Iraq about the number of troops needed. No one vaguely familiar with how decisions are made in this Pentagon believes that to be the case. And, indeed, as visiting members of Congress and military reporters have repeatedly reported from Iraq, the military officers there know quite well that more troops are needed, not less.
The British memo notes that, while Pentagon officials favor "a relatively bold reduction," the battlefield commanders "approach is more cautious." That is one way to put it. Another would be to say that Secretary Rumsfeld is putting the president's strategic vision at risk, while those soldiering in Iraq are trying to save a policy in the face of inadequate resources.
Y'know what's more funny, though, is that since this war actually began... your reccommendations and mine and those of several neocons have fallen neatly in line: more troops, more resources, don't cut and run. Isn't it funny how we find so much room even within those issues to spit at each other.
If it is actually Rumsfeld behind this, I'll concede the part about Congress v Administration. It would just surprise me quite a bit, is all. Rummy believes in much lighter, more mobile forces and concentrating lots of firepower and intelligence rather than the widespread "engage and kill" strategy... not in solving the problem with more boots. But pulling out with time constraints? Hell, I don't see him doing that unless he thinks the next Congress or President will screw the pooch.
Every note from the admin has been crafted to say "conditions-based withdrawal, NOT a timeline." Knowing the political games the admin plays, that doesn't indicate to me that these neocons are on the right chalkboard re: Rumsfeld.
quote:Moreover, there is no question that the U.S. is ill prepared for another serious crisis that might require the use of American military forces.
So why's the military intent on moving to a one-war footing, as we've discussed recently?
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