Monday, March 31, 2003

Rumsfeld certainly made the rounds of the TV talk shows yesterday, a very defensive Defense Secretary. Unfortunately for Rumsfeld, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the ostensible war plan executed at the start of the war was not the finest indication of the brilliance of the strategist we have in the Pentagon and in the military.

The most salient fact is the absence of a northern front. After Turkey's initial refusal to give us basing rights, that was a definite strategic signal that even if we did get rights after a second vote, placing the 4th infantry division in Turkey was a bad political idea. However, the planners kept the ship with the division off Turkey's coast for three weeks!!!

The northern front is only now beginning to form and slowly at that. Now, Rumsfeld argues that the plan called for a rolling start to the war and the plan was to deploy troops as the conflict went on. So for instance, there've been quite a few deployments since the war began. However, they correctly argue that these deployments were previously scheduled. But where they've messed up was that it is clear that they did not envision any urgent significant combat need for these troops, rather, the thought was to use them to either finish things up or as a peace keeping force. From the pattern of deployments we can see that they certainly had an extremely optimistic view of the looming conflict at the time. Of course, all we hear now is that they never conveyed that sense of optimism and it is all the media's fault.

On the media front, Foxnews needs to get a better advocate for the liberal position than Juan Williams. It is clear that he is no match for the dreadful but formidable Brit Hume and the likeable but still extreme Tony Snow. Whenever they have debates on Foxnews with their analysts, Brit Hume hits hard with his stuff which is often well researched and articulate, Juan just seems to get angry and speak in generalities and doesn't seem to be able to match wits with Brit Hume.


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