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Rumsfeld. Genius or Jerk?

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posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:26 PM
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Rumsfeld was a good Navy pilot. He was successful in several government posts and in private business. But he had some weaknesses, too. He did not like disputations, dissenters or disagreements despite the phoney propaganda that he loved conflicting ideas. He surrounded himself with “Yes” men, including the uniformed leaders. He had much too high an opinion of himself. Too bad for the country. So here’s my take on one of the original Gang of Four, Bush43, VP Cheney, Rumsfeld who I called the Oberfuhrer, and the Birmingham Songbird Sec Rice. This small group got America into the worst foreign entanglement since William Randolph Hearst urged William McKinley go to war with Spain. 1898.

The DoD is the largest single expense item in the Federal Government’s discretionary budget. Today, fully 20% is “off budget” so add about $100 b. to the publicly disclosed $455 b. Add $35 b. for the VA. Add $200 b. as the DoD’s share of the interest on the national debt. The 2 largest items the SS and Medicare, are in the black. To manage the Department is a job for more than one man but unfortunately, our management system is about 75 years out of date. The public suffers because of that, but it is a golden bonanza for contractors and other providers to the Pentagon. It’s simply too large for anyone to ever have a handle on it. We have already heard on Inspector General say in the last 10 years, the DoD has ?Lost? over $1 t. Money we just can’t find. That is sad.

Because our laws give civilians the control over uniformed persons, it turns out a person who has no knowledge, no training, no experience, and no concept of the possible, is placed in charge of the largest bureaucracy in the government. Donald Rumsfeld made the same mistake many leaders ahead of him have made, that this legal authority or responsibly some how gives him the prerogative to make tactical military decisions.

It is not easy to separate tactical, strategic and political aspects of war. I suggest FDR is a good example of how the Commander in Chief as well as a Cabinet Secretary of the Defense Department, ought to conduct himself. Roosevelt’s only trip into running the military was to decide the US would fight Germany first, then Japan. After that, he left it to the Secretary of War and Navy, and to the Generals and Admirals how to execute his orders. General Marshall picked Dwight Eisenhower to lead the US invasion of North Africa. Ike lost the first battle he was in. But FDR knew any general would have been as likely to have lost that battle. Our soldiers were not experienced, our equipment was not good, and we had poor to no intelligence. FDR stuck with Ike. He did much better at Sicily. This gave Ike experience planning 2 seaborne assaults. He was the logical choice for the grand finale, Operation Overlord. D-Day in Europe. FDR stayed with Ike. You know the rest.

Harry Truman followed FDR. He did not tell Admiral Nimitz or Halsey how to place their men or ships. He did not tell General MacArthrur to land on Leyte first, then Luzon. He left battle decisions to the men who had the training and experience to make those decisions. It has HST alone who decided to drop our 2 atom bombs on cities in Japan. It was up to Gen. LeMay who when and how it would be done. Sure, Truman was in charge. But he was smart enough to know his own limits and to know which issues he and he alone could address. And not to mix them.

LBJ and RMN both got involved in target selection. Anytime the head man has nothing better to do, or worse, does not know what is properly his job to do, you are in deep do-do. I believe since then, it has gotten worse. This is because we have wall-size plasma tv screens in the triple deep basemen bomb shelter (Fuhrer bunker?) war room in the White House linked to real time satellites and UAVs, so that our president and other top leaders can sit in soft leather chairs, sipping their favorite beverage, and watch war real time. Exhilarating! Being all powerful - so they delude themselves into believing - they have succumbed to the temptation to make battlefield decisions.

This is Rumsfeld legacy: 1) A military the Army Chief of Staff said Thursday is broken.
2) 3000 KIA in Iraq
3) A Civil War we caused
4) No way to exit with honor
5) Lost our influence in the Middle East.
6) Afghan is unraveling

As Bush43 sez: “Gee, Rummy, you’re doing one heck of a job!”


[edit on 12/15/2006 by donwhite]




posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 04:59 PM
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I think that your slightly off base concerning Truman after all he wouldn't let Macarthur attack enemy forces across the Yale. But it turned out both men were in the wrong. Never the less
You have voted donwhite for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 06:49 PM
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posted by xpert11

I think that you’re slightly off base concerning Truman after all he wouldn't let MacArthur attack enemy forces across the Yalu. But it turned out both men were in the wrong.
Never the less You have voted donwhite for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.



Thank you for the vote of confidence. I hope I deserve it.

My memory is that the Chinese would have considered that an extreme provocation and we would have risked a land war on the Asian mainland, a no-no in West Point doctrine. Further, at the time, November, 1950, China was still regarded as a protege of the USSR. The PRC had recently declared victory over the Nationalist forces on October 1, 1949.

The UN mandate said we were to restore the border between the North and South parts of Korea, and made no mention of invading China. I have also heard that MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against China.

HST had just won the Berlin Airlift and had launched the Truman Doctrine to save Greece and Turkey from USSR advances. Czechoslovakia, the last country to fall behind the Iron Curtain, had just been toppled. The American public was not overly enthralled with the Korean undertaking, which HST had to label a police action to divert some of the criticism.

As it was, the Korean War did cost HST a chance for reelection - hello LBJ - when Ike ran in 1952 on a promise to end the war. HST did not run, of course, but hand-picked Adlai Stevenson to be the Dems candidate. I’m happy to report I voted for Adlai, but not until 1956, being slightly too young to vote in 1952. But I was in Korea by September, 1953.

Finally, attacking China was a political or strategic issue, not a tactical issue. I do not believe HST interfered with Mac at all on the tactics. Only on the politics and or strategy. Which I believe is the real job of the Commander in Chief. The framers could not possibly have believed the president should be a field marshal of our armed forces.


[edit on 12/16/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
...
This is Rumsfeld legacy: 1) A military the Army Chief of Staff said Thursday is broken.
2) 3000 KIA in Iraq
3) A Civil War we caused
4) No way to exit with honor
5) Lost our influence in the Middle East.
6) Afghan is unraveling

...


I would add 7)
Almost singlehandedly deriding and turning away those that could help nowadays in Iraq (and have been asked to do so by the USA): tcatchphrase "old Europe"...




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