Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's All About Ego - Rumsfeld Must Resign

Retired Major General Paul Eaton calls for Donald Rumsfeld to resign. His case, made in the New York Times is clear and compelling.

In the five years Mr. Rumsfeld has presided over the Pentagon, I have seen a climate of groupthink become dominant and a growing reluctance by experienced military men and civilians to challenge the notions of the senior leadership.

General Eaton is not some dinosaur from the Vietnam Era, his most recent post was as the officer in charge of training Iraq police and military forces. His perspective on Rumsfeld's leadership style and decision making process is current and compelling.

Mr. Rumsfeld has also failed in terms of operations in Iraq. He rejected the so-called Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force and sent just enough tech-enhanced troops to complete what we called Phase III of the war — ground combat against the uniformed Iraqis. He ignored competent advisers like Gen. Anthony Zinni and others who predicted that the Iraqi Army and security forces might melt away after the state apparatus self-destructed, leading to chaos.

Whose to blame for the mess in Iraq? Certainly, egoists like Rumsfeld and his crony, Dick Cheney carry a big load of guilt. But, Eaton makes it clear where the real failure lies.

...Congress must assert itself. Too much power has shifted to the executive branch, not just in terms of waging war but also in planning the military of the future. Congress should remember it still has the power of the purse; it should call our generals, colonels, captains and sergeants to testify frequently, so that their opinions and needs are known to the men they lead. Then when they are asked if they have enough troops — and no soldier has ever had enough of anything, more is always better — the reply is public.

When will the representatives of the people begin to demand accountablity?