in the Wilderness
Counsel of Military Leadership
“It might be interesting to wonder why all the generals see it the same
and all those that never fired a shot and are really hell-bent to go to
see it a different way.”
Anthony Zinni, (Ret) U.S.M.C.
Reaction to the recent testimony
of Generals Casey and Abizaid continues a long history of the civilian
war hawks of the Bush administration ignoring or rejecting the prudent
council of seasoned military leaders.
The recent revelations of Col. Lawrence
Wilkerson (Ret), Chief of Staff
to sec. of State colin Powell from 2001 to 2005 offers additional
boss: Pentagon won't admit reality in Iraq
Former Army secretary Thomas White said in an interview
that senior Defense officials "are unwilling to come to grips" with the
scale of the postwar U.S. obligation in Iraq ...
"This is not what they
were selling (before the war)," White said, describing how senior
Defense officials downplayed the need for a large occupation force ...
The interview was
White's first since leaving the Pentagon in May after a series of
public feuds with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld led to his firing.
Rumsfeld and Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz criticized the Army's chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, after Shinseki
told Congress in February that the occupation could require "several
hundred thousand troops." Wolfowitz called Shinseki's estimate "wildly
off the mark."
Rumsfeld was furious with White when the
Army secretary agreed with Shinseki ...
Contradicts General on Iraq Occupation Force's Size
contentious exchange over the costs of war with Iraq, the Pentagon's
second-ranking official today disparaged a top Army general's
assessment of the number of troops needed to secure postwar Iraq ...
Mr. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, opened a two-front war of
words on Capitol Hill, calling the recent estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki
of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in
postwar Iraq, "wildly off the mark" ...
general's tactics proved right
Profile of the army chief sidelined by Rumsfeld
Gen Anthony Zinni (Ret.), U. S. Marine Corps, former
Commander-in-Chief of U. S. Central Command for all U.S. forces in the
Following his retirement from the Marine Corps in 2000, Gen.
Zinni, a registered Republican, was appointed by President Bush as
special adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell and served as U.S.
envoy envoy for Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, before breaking ranks
with the Administration over the war in Iraq.
San Diego Union Tribune, April 16, 2004
Marine Corp Association, U. S. Naval Institute, Arlington, Virginia,
September 4, 2004,
Zinni's comments to the joint meeting in Arlington
of the U.S. Naval Institute and the Marine Corps Association, two
professional groups for officers, were greeted warmly by his audience,
with prolonged applause at the end. Some officers bought tapes and
compact discs of the speech to give to others. - Thomas E. Ricks,
Washington Post, September 5, 2003
Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Washington, D. C., October 16,
Middle East Institute, Washington, D. C., October 10, 2002
About General Zinni here,
Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (Ret.), U. S. Army, Director of
National Security Studies at Hudson Institute; Military analyst and
foreign policy expert; Served as Director of National Security Agency,
1985-1988; Served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the
Army’s senior intelligence officer 1981-1985
General Says Staying the Course in Iraq is Untenable,
Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2004, Also here,
for the Exit, Washington Times, May 3, 2004, or here
May 6, 2004, U.S. Should Make Plans for Pullout by Next Year
graver than Vietnam
Most senior US
officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an
"The idea that this is going to go the
these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're
conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no
sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone
who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."
Gen. Joseph Hoar (Ret), the former
marine commandant and head of US Central Command
General Hoare believes from the
he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah
"after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it -
after the election. The signs are all there."
any such planned attack to the late Syrian dictator Hafez al-Asad's
razing of the rebel city of Hama. "You could flatten it," said Hoare.
"US military forces would prevail, casualties would be high, there
would be inconclusive results with respect to the bad guys, their
leadership would escape, and civilians would be caught in the middle. I
hate that phrase collateral damage. And they talked about dancing in
the street, a beacon for democracy."
"I don't think that you can kill the insurgency ...
"We have a growing, maturing insurgency group ... We see larger and
more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can
self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that
when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown
an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to
fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more
hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are
confirmed in that view.
" "If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation
by a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious requirement to resist
that occupation...Most Iraqis consider us occupiers, not liberators."
Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic
"I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become
true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and
the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan...
"I see no exit. We've been down that road before. It's called
Vietnamisation. The idea that we're going to have an Iraqi force
trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches the imagination.
They will be tainted by their very association with the foreign
occupier. In fact, we had more time and money in state building in
Vietnam than in Iraq."
Jeffrey Record, professor of
strategy at the Air War College
"This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake
strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the
war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region
far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."
Gen. William Odom
general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster' , CNN.com, July 31, 2004,
the Air Force Chief of Staff during the first Gulf War, a former
fighter pilot who campaigned for Bob Dole in 1996 and for George W.
Bush in 2000, say Bush's first 3 years have been "a national disaster",
but John Kerry is "up to the task" of re-building. General McPeak says
our friends, damaged our credibility around the world, reduced our
influence to an all-time low in my lifetime, given hope to our enemies."
generals say U.S. troops' presence may fuel insurgency
WASHINGTON — The U.S. generals
war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in
public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops
in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.
During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S.
forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency
on American troops among the nascent Iraqi military, and energizing
terrorists across the Middle East ...
During his congressional testimony, Army
Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, also said
that troop reductions were required to "take away one of the elements
that fuels the insurgency, that of the coalition forces as an occupying
by Col.Lawrence B. Wilkerson,
Col. Wilkerson served as
chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002 to 2005.
IN PRESIDENT BUSH'S first term, some of the most important
decisions about U.S. national security — including vital decisions
about postwar Iraq — were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It
was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick
Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld...
But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series
of disastrous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged
with implementing them would not or could not execute them well...
Today, we have a president whose approval rating is 38% and
a vice president who speaks only to Rush Limbaugh and assembled
military forces. We have a secretary of Defense presiding over the
death-by-a-thousand-cuts of our overstretched armed forces (no surprise
to ignored dissenters such as former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric
Shinseki or former Army Secretary Thomas White)...
Col. Wilkerson's speech
New America foundation, October 19, 2005
Brent Scowcroft Breaks Rank
Brent Scowcroft the United States National Security
Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush and a Lieutenant General in
the United States Air Force.
He also served as Military Assistant to President Richard Nixon and as
Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in the
Nixon and Ford administrations. He also served as Chairman of the
President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under President George
W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.
The First Gulf War was a success,
Scowcroft said, because the President knew better than to set
unachievable goals. "I'm not a pacifist," he said. "I believe in the
use of force. But there has to be a good reason for using force. And
you have to know when to stop using force." Scowcroft does not believe
that the promotion of American-style democracy abroad is a sufficiently
good reason to use force....
The neoconservatives -- the Republicans who
argued most fervently for the second Gulf war -- believe in the export
of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. "How do
the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and
pressure, you evangelize." And now, Scowcroft said, America is
suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary
utopianism. "This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq
feeds terrorism," he said....