Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tamping Down the Revolt

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Lawrence Korb, attempts to put the "revolt of the retired generals" in historical perspective in the on-line version of Time.
The current revolt of the Generals is much less serious. The complaints are coming from retired officers, who as private citizens have every right to make their opinions public. Many other generals have also served as cheerleaders for the war on cable news channels. And most importantly, these calls for Rumsfeld's resignation have not been supported by active duty Army and Marine officers.
I think Korb is dead wrong. The fact that six generals, who have been directly in the chain of command both during the planning and execution of the war in Iraq, have stepped forward and unequivocally called for the resignation of the Secretary of Defense is serious.

Korb uses a relatively obscure 1949 incident where the civilian leadership of the Defense Department got into a nasty spat over building an aircraft carrier. Uniformed officers were sucked into the battle, but in the end it was a minor scuffle over appropriations.

If you consider their criticism and its implications, the six retired generals are saying that Donald Rumsfeld leadership is directly responsible for the unnecessary deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. His continued leadership will lead to more deaths and, without a change in strategic direction, all of those deaths will be for no purpose.