Will2 asks: The cluster-F seems to have been made in the long-term post-war planning due to the recent supply shortages. If it was a consistant problem I feel certain that the media would have picked up on it before the Fallujah standoff escalated. Is it something that we can blame on attacked supply lines or is it planning miscalculations that are getting us into trouble now?
According to the officer whose letter was quoted in Jed Babbin’s article on NRO, the problem goes back to original planning miscalculations by the Army generals responsible for the war effort. In this, he echos the other officer who wrote to me yesterday, who blames Clinton-era officers.
Keep in mind that neither generals McKiernan nor Franks planned at all for the post-conflict environment. There is also no evidence that Abizaid once on hand as Franks’ deputy addressed this requirement. What ensued was Army thinking that has not changed in 50 years….While the violence increased, the Army generals remained committed to HUMMV mounted light infantry guaranteeing hundreds of maimed and dead soldiers. The Army senior leaders continue to behave like the US Army Air Corps generals from 1942-1943 who insisted that the bomber would always get through without fighter escort. After thousands of dead airmen and destroyed planes, they conceded the need for fighter escorts. Today, the marines and Army are still throwing men with automatic weapons into action against Iraqis with automatic weapons when armor is badly needed. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
The Army GOs in accordance with the new CSA’s “light infantry-centric visions” have been busy shipping out the armor and the newly arrived marines left their armor at home and are using borrowed army tanks. When generals Abizaid and Sanchez both saw the true dimensions of the resentment and violence, they panicked and asked that the only armor left in the theater – from 1 AD because 1st CAV brought only 1 in 6 tanks and 1 in 6 Brads – be extended for 90 days. Their panic knew no limits. They then insisted that the newly formed fledgling Iraqi formations go in and kill their own people when we had been trying to permanently erase the praetorian past of the Iraqi Army and persuade both the soldiers and their countrymen that the Iraqi army will never again be used against the people of Iraq. To the credit of the Iraqi soldiers, they refused to kill their own countrymen.
Could we have done better? Yes, but until the GOs are held accountable for their missteps and failures, nothing of substance will change or approve[sic].