Non-cakewalker: Here's what Clintonhawk Kenneth Pollack wrote in his book advocating an invasion of Iraq:
Probably the most likely scenario would be about one third of Iraq's armed forces fighting hard, limited use of tactical WMD, and some extensive combat in a few cities. In this most likely case, the campaign would probably last four to eight weeks and result in roughly 500 to 1,000 American combat deaths. [Emphasis added.]
By this standard, is the war going worse than expected? No. ...P.S.: That doesn't mean we couldn't use more troops! ... [Entering Shafer's Stage 4 already?--ed Not quite.] 2:31 A.M.
Baker v. Cheney: WaPo's Kessler and Pincus discern a
behind-the-scenes effort by former senior Republican government officials and party leaders to convince President Bush that the advice he has received from Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz -- a powerful triumvirate frequently at odds with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell -- has been wrong and even dangerous to long-term U.S. national interests. [Emphasis added]
Reactions: 1) This story would be a whole lot more significant if it involved any current senior government officials and party leaders. It doesn't appear to. The Post's headline, "Advisers Split as War Unfolds," falsely suggests that splits among current Bush advisers are being reported. (Warren Strobel's competing story does quote "senior administration officials" making the less substantive, ass-covering but still anti-hawk point that Bush wasn't "forcefully" presented with "dissenting views.") 2) Kessler and Pincus don't exactly hide who these "former" officials are:
Some within the group of former GOP officials were advocates last summer of going to the United Nations to win broader international support for confronting Iraq rather than moving unilaterally. The president decided to try to obtain U.N. backing -- a course Powell strongly favored -- after his father's national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, and secretary of state, James A. Baker III, went public supporting that approach. [Subtle clues highlighted.]
3) Many of Pincus and Kessler's key points are made by an unnamed "Bush adviser." Is this person an official adviser or an unofficial adviser? If the source is only an unofficial adviser, isn't it a bit deceptive of Pincus and Kessler not to tell this to us, letting us think it might be an member of the current Bush team? Of course, the "adviser" could be Colin Powell....4) This mystery "adviser" seems to agree with the theory, presented in the preceding item, of Rumsfeld's motivation in keeping U.S. troop levels in Iraq low [emphasis added]:
Rumsfeld wants to put the 'Powell Doctrine' into obsolescence," the Bush adviser said, referring to the military strategy outlined by Powell when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In its broadest sense, the doctrine -- which guided Pentagon thinking during the Gulf War 12 years ago -- calls for decisive force, clear goals and popular support to ensure success.
Rumsfeld wants to retire the Powell Doctrine "first because he truly believes that the new military with the new technology needs to fight different kinds of wars," the adviser said. "Secondly, he sees new kinds of foreign policy challenges, and he ultimately wants to run foreign policy, not just the Defense Department. Those foreign policy challenges require the U.S. to be able to deploy force quickly and with dramatic positive effect in multiple places at multiple times because you're battling these non-state actors."
Except that Rumsfeld seems to be threatening state actors as well as non-state actors. 5) Powell cites his Gallup poll ratings in interviews. ("The American people think I was doing a good job by, oh, 83 percent.") How pathetic is that? ...12:07 A.M. Sunday, March 30, 2003 What Was Rumsfeld Thinking? On Thursday, a James Kitfield article( highlighted by bloggers Noah Shachtmanand Phil Carter) raised an issue that's now broken into the mainstream press-- the charge that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld actually cut in half the number of troops the Pentagon's daring war plan called for. Even now, according to a link from Josh Marshall(who's been on fire lately, now that he's not for the war anymore!) Rumsfeld is pressuring General Tommy Franksto move on Baghdad before the 4th Infantry can redeploy from Turkey and provide additional firepower.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
What Was Rumsfeld Thinking? On Thursday, a James Kitfield article( highlighted by bloggers Noah Shachtmanand Phil Carter) raised an issue that's now broken into the mainstream press-- the charge that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld actually cut in half the number of troops the Pentagon's daring war plan called for. Even now, according to a link from Josh Marshall(who's been on fire lately, now that he's not for the war anymore!) Rumsfeld is pressuring General Tommy Franksto move on Baghdad before the 4th Infantry can redeploy from Turkey and provide additional firepower.