Archive for the 'Leadership' Category



Democrat Response to Rep. Ryan Spending Cuts: Burn The Witches!

BY Glen Tschirgi
3 years, 6 months ago

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan went on the Sunday news shows last weekend to preview Republican plans for the 2012 Federal Budget (not to be confused with the current combat over the 2011 Budget that Democrats refused to pass last year).

Ryan made it clear that the 2012 Budget sets out on a very ambitious path to cut over $4 Trillion from Federal spending over the next 10 years in an effort to reduce the size of the Federal government and get spending back in line with revenue.

My concern here is not to talk about the specifics of Ryan’s budget ideas.  Afterall, the proposed budget is not expected to be released until later this week.  Instead, I want to highlight the preliminary salvos being fired by Democrats attempting to “prepare the ground” for the Budget Battle of 2012.

Here is the Associated Press reporting on Rep. Ryan’s remarks as well as the Democrat response:

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Ryan said budget writers are working out the 2012 numbers with the Congressional Budget Office, but he said the overall spending reductions would come to “a lot more” than $4 trillion. The debt commission appointed by President Barack Obama recommended a plan that it said would achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

Ryan said Obama’s call for freezing nondefense discretionary spending actually locks in spending at high levels. Under the forthcoming GOP plan, Ryan said spending would return to 2008 levels and thus cut an additional $400 billion over 10 years.

Ryan tells the interviewer, in general terms, that the proposed budget will include things like premium supports for Medicare and Medicaid, a bifurcation of treatment for those 55 and older who would continue under the present approach and those younger who would be put under a new, cost-savings approach.   Ryan previewed ideas such as block grants to the States for Medicare/Medicaid to allow each State to decide how to deal with their citizens on a local level;  a statutory cap on discretionary federal spending;  a revision of the tax code to broaden and simplify its implementation; no new tax increases.

The reaction by Democrats?  About what you would expect:

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, slammed Ryan’s plan in a press release Sunday. “It is not courageous to protect tax breaks for millionaires, oil companies and other big-money special interests while slashing our investment in education, ending the current health care guarantees for seniors on Medicare, and denying health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans,” Van Hollen said.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia was skeptical that Ryan’s proposal could achieve its targets without damaging social programs. He also questioned whether reductions in defense spending and seeking more revenue through tax reform would be part of the plan.

“I don’t know how you get there without taking basically a meat ax to those programs who protect the most vulnerable in the country,” Warner said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I’ll give anybody the benefit of a doubt until I get a chance to look at the details,” he said, “but I think the only way you’re going to really get there is if you put all of these things, including defense spending, including tax reform, as part of the overall package.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., part of a six-member group of Republicans and Democrats forging their own budget proposal, said that the lawmakers would be looking for “real balance” in Ryan’s plan and wanting all options considered.

“I think we’ll come at it differently,” Durbin said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “The idea of sparing the Pentagon from any savings, not imposing any new sacrifice on the wealthiest Americans, I think goes way too far. We have got to make certain that it’s a balanced approach and one that can be sustained over the next 10 years.”

This knee-jerk reaction by Democrats– that “the Rich” are not paying their “fair share” and must be subject to “new sacrifice” — puts me in mind of that classic scene from Monty Python And The Holy Grail:

Democrats have the very same kind of medieval thinking when it comes to economics and tax policy.  Just as the villagers in The Holy Grail are determined to have their “witch” to burn, even if it means dressing someone up to look like a witch and making the most absurd claims of the woman’s evil deeds, Democrats in Congress are determined to burn the Rich regardless of the efficacy or, indeed, the great harm that it causes to the economy.

In this video by The Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Dan Mitchell explains how this type of witch hunting is so wrong-headed and, ultimately, damaging to our economy:

One thing to highlight in this excellent video is the fact that we live in a global economy that will always favor those who can move their capital elsewhere.   Professor Paul Rahe, in volume 1 of his book series, Republics Ancient & Modern, he notes that eighteenth century writers recognized that, “the invention of the bill of exchange [was] a turning point in world history.” (page 47).  The French philosopher, Montesquieu, noted that the effect of the bill of exchange was to allow the merchant class to avoid the arbitrary and confiscatory policies of the monarchical rulers of Europe by sending their assets to other, less oppressive states.  As a result, a veritable revolution in politics occurred because, for the first time, rulers’ decisions were checked by the ability of these merchants to vote with their movable assets.  (Ibid).

The same phenomenon applies today, but Democrats (and protectionist Republicans) just don’t get it.   They look at factories and jobs moving overseas and, rather than look squarely in the mirror at our anti-business, anti-manufacturing policies fomented by left-wingers still living in the 19th Century as the cause, they vilify the owners as “un-American” or unpatriotic or just evil.   The reality is that America will continue to shed jobs and capital until we stop demonizing “the rich” and start implementing policies that make it easier for businesses to stay in the U.S. and thrive.

Democrats in Congress, if the AP article is any indication, seem prepared to continue on their idiotic quest to “burn the witches” of our economy, not because there are witches, but because they know it offers a grotesque but satisfying spectacle to a constituency that they have carefully cultivated to feed upon envy, hatred, resentment and victim-status.

Congressmen like Paul Ryan and his colleagues in the Senate must not for one moment give in to this vile practice when it comes to hammering out the 2012 Budget and beyond.

The G.O.P. And the Federal Budget: Piecemeal Approach Is The Key

BY Glen Tschirgi
3 years, 7 months ago

Peter Ferrara has an opinion piece at Pajamas Media that urges the Republican leadership in the House to “get over” their fear of a government shutdown and get on with meaningful cuts to the budget.  Ferrara urges Rep. John Boehner:

The Republican leadership is losing their own base by displaying too much of a ready willingness to compromise, while Obama and the Democrats are not losing any support from their spending addicted political machine. The Republicans need to go on the offensive to reverse this political dynamic.

They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) for the rest of this fiscal year, which goes to September 30, with at least their original $100 billion in budget cuts for the year. No more 2 or 3 week extensions. Then fan out across the country and take their case to the people

Ferrara sees the fight playing out in Republicans’ favor:

That budget needs to inspire the grassroots by taking spending for every budget line item, not just discretionary spending, back to 2007 budget levels, except for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and of course interest on the national debt. That was just 4 years ago and America survived just fine then at those levels of federal spending. That would save roughly $500 billion in year one, and provide the foundation for balancing the entire budget within a reasonable time. The House should pass appropriations bills to implement this budget, and then again fan out across the country and take its case to the people.

This would frame the issue in the Republicans’ favor, for to resist them President Obama, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Democrats would have to publicly fight for higher federal spending, deficits, and debt. The Tea Party would then have its target clearly exposed.

If the Democrats can’t get their act together to pass a reasonable CR for this year and appropriations bills for next year that put the federal budget on a path to balance within a reasonable time, then the government can just shut down and stay shut down until the election, when the people can decide. There are big virtues to shutting the Obama administration down until the election. No funding for the EPA to implement cap and trade by regulation. No funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement ObamaCare. ObamaCare implementation funding may have been buried in the ObamaCare bill itself. But without continuing funding to keep the administrative offices open at HHS and elsewhere, there will be no one functioning to carry the implementation out.

In a shutdown impasse, House Republicans can continue to pass CRs and appropriations bills to fund the government, and demand to know why the Democrats won’t do their job and fund essential government services. They can pass bills to fund particular sensitive parts of the government. One bill can fund the federal courts. Another bill can fund the Social Security Administration.

While there is much to recommend Ferrara’s approach, particularly with regards to favoring a bold approach in the face of fiscal crisis, there is still plenty of opportunity for the Democrats to continue their intransigence by insisting that they cannot vote for a bill that cuts this vital program or fails to fund that urgently-needed priority.   So long as the Republicans present complete budgets to the Democrats, the Democrats can simply pick them apart as mean-spirited, devastating to the poor and disadvantaged, etc…  Worse, Ferrara’s approach still allows Democrats to claim that the Republicans are forcing a government shutdown by insisting on “draconian” cuts that will hurt the common person.

But Ferrara may have, unintentionally, hit on the key to drastically reducing the size and expense of the federal government.   In fact, it is a better and smarter way, politically, to achieve significant reductions in spending and put the big-spenders in D.C. on the defensive.

Republicans in the House need to fund the federal government in a completely upside-down manner, and they need to do this not only for 2011 but also for 2012 and, perhaps, beyond until some mechanism is put into place that can reliably shrink the federal government.   The solution is to stop funding the government with comprehensive, unitary budgets and, instead, as Ferrara alludes to as a sort of desperate measure, fund the government in piecemeal fashion with bills that fund specific government departments or activities.

As things stand, the Republicans in the House have been hitting a brick wall when it comes to passing a comprehensive, 2011 budget.   As Ferrara well notes, this was the work of the previous Congress run by Nancy Pelosi and they failed miserably despite having majorities in both chambers and the White House.   Whether one believes that a government shutdown is disastrous or not, it is clear that the GOP approach so far is not going to achieve any serious reductions in the 2011 budget.   Ferrara cites the horrific deficit numbers, so I will not repeat them here.   The GOP House has been forced to agree to temporary, continuing resolutions to keep the government funded on an ad hoc basis.

Instead, Boehner should flip the funding process on its head and abandon the comprehensive approach.  Rather than presenting one, unitary budget with spending cuts reflected in it, Boehner should present to the floor of the House a whole series of individual bills that fund only those essential functions of government that must be funded.  And the funding bills should be presented in order of political priority.

So, for example, the first funding bill to come up would be funding for Social Security for the balance of the 2011 budget year.  Let the Democrats in the Senate try to explain to the public why they are voting against Social Security.   They will cave in a heartbeat.  Just as liberal Senators, in the end, caved in on voting for military funding for the Iraq war in 2007, although they denounced the war as a lost cause and a crime against humanity, they knew that they could not face re-election having voted to deny our soldiers and marines the materiel needed in the midst of combat.  Same thing applies here.

Boehner and the majority in the House would continue to line up single funding bills in similar fashion:  for the Defense Department, for Medicare, for Veterans Affairs, for payment of interest on the national debt — there goes that favorite argument about raising the debt ceiling.

In short, this is a historic opportunity for the GOP to fund only those federal activities that are clearly necessary and Constitutionally prescribed.

Everything else never gets a vote.

The Department of Education?  No funding bill.  Note how this completely changes the debate.  According to the Department of Education’s own website, the Department oversees a budget of slightly more than $69 Billion.  Presumably this includes not only the cost of personnel but also programs such as the popular Pell Grant.   According to Higher Ed Watch the Pell Grant program grew from $14 Billion in 2008 to over $40 Billion for 2011.   If the GOP House took a piecemeal approach to government funding, it could easily introduce a bill that would fund the Pell Grant program at the 2008 levels and package it as a block grant of sorts to the States for each State to administer, saving the costs of federal administration.

Notice how completely different this equation is from a budgeting approach that automatically includes the Department of Education within an overall budget but seeks to cut its funding down to $14 Billion.   It effectively de-couples those who want an ever-larger budget for the Department of Education from those who do not care as much about education but strongly resist any cuts to the Federal Communications Commission.   It effectively splits the forces of the big-spenders.

Even better, piecemeal budgeting allows the House to specifically fund those programs that it finds appropriate and necessary without funding programs that are wasteful, better left to the States or are contrary to Americans’ values and beliefs.   The funding bill can specifically tie release of the funds to only specific activities or programs.

And because the most politically sensitive issues are voted on and approved first, the big spenders are left with fewer and fewer effective funding issues to demagogue.   For instance, once the funding has been set for Social Security, Medicare, Defense, the Courts and other, similar services considered essential, how effective will it be for the big spenders to howl about the House’s refusal to introduce a bill that would renew the $2.4 Million funding to New York state for, “Determining the connectivity among and fine-scale habitat use within Atlantic sturgeon aggregation areas in the Mid-Atlantic Bight: Implications for gear restricted management areas to reduce bycatch.”

Think of this approach as an aquarium tank full of electric eels.   So long as the tank is full of water, the eels can multiply the effect of their sting.  But by passing appropriation bills individually, the water in the tank is steadily drained out.   By the time the major spending bills are passed there are only the puddles of water left along with the eels harmlessly writhing on the floor.

Perhaps the biggest problem all along has been the method used to fund the federal government.  So long as funding is done in large, amorphous chunks, billions of dollars of waste and unneeded programs can slip through and no one is willing to sink the entire budget for the sake of cutting funding for what amounts on an individual level to small amounts.   But once the spending is broken down into individual and more manageable amounts, it is an entirely different matter.

Another huge benefit of the piecemeal approach to funding is where it leaves Senate Democrats who form the majority.   With the House churning out spending bills by the dozen and sending them up to the Senate for approval, the burden of keeping essential government functions instantly passes to the Senate.   If Harry Reid somehow refuses or fails to schedule the bills for a vote or cannot get the votes to pass the bills, then it will be Reid who has caused a shutdown of that government agency.   It is true that Reid could try to modify the bill and call for a committee to reconcile the two bills, but it will be a steep uphill climb for the Democrats to argue in this economic atmosphere that there must be more spending or they will shut down Social Security completely.   The American people are clearly in the mood for fiscal restraint and reduced spending.   Republicans should welcome any opportunity that paints them as the responsible cost-cutter versus Democrat big spenders.

It is time for Rep. Boehner and the House to get to work.   The present Continuing Resolution expires on April 8th.   Between  now and then, the House can vote to fund the government but only those functions and departments which are deemed essential or allow Democrats to demagogue.   Everything else must rise or fall on its merits and only after severe scrutiny.

The worst thing that could happen is the House democrats take the familiar approach and hide out in Illinois until the adults in Congress finish up the job properly.   That’s tough luck for Illinois, but, then again, Illinois is a far, far cry from the land of Lincoln.   Perhaps they should change the state motto to “Refuge of Scoundrels.”

Concerning the Importance of NCOs

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 6 months ago

In Standing up the Iraq Army we noted the importance of NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) to the capabilities, cohesion and performance of an Army.  From Why Arabs Lose Wars, Norvell B. De Atkine, Middle East Quarterly, Dec. 1999, Vol. 6, No. 2:

The social and professional gap between officers and enlisted men is present in all armies, but in the United States and other Western forces, the non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps bridges it. Indeed, a professional NCO corps has been critical for the American military to work at its best; as the primary trainers in a professional army, NCOs are critical to training programs and to the enlisted men’s sense of unit esprit. Most of the Arab world either has no NCO corps or it is non-functional, severely handicapping the military’s effectiveness. With some exceptions, NCOs are considered in the same low category as enlisted men and so do not serve as a bridge between enlisted men and officers. Officers instruct but the wide social gap between enlisted man and officer tends to make the learning process perfunctory, formalized, and ineffective.

From the Small Wars Journal, Professors in the Trenches: Deployed Soldiers and Social Science Academics (Part 1 of 5), we read the following important analysis:

Another major issue that emerged was the relationship between commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). Commissioned officers did not believe that NCOs should or will ever assume the role played by NCOs serving the armies of western democracies. This was considered to be mostly an issue of class structure, which was reinforced by the differences in educational levels between the two groups. During the focus groups, many of the NCOs frequently complained about the unwillingness of officers (or even more senior NCO) to listen to them; offering advice was simply not considered an option. Conversely, officers – especially junior officers – frequently micromanaged, often doing even the most routine tasks themselves to ensure success.

A sure recipe for failure, at least on a relative scale.  But it may be that this is a cultural issue, unable to be amended or rectified by training, education and mentoring.  The upshot is that the questioning attitude, initiative, capability to take responsibility and education in the West ensures a strong NCO corps and thus the world’s greatest military.

Petraeus Advisor Colonel Derek Harvey

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

St. Louis Today (STLtoday.com) has an interesting article on (outside military circles) a little known advisor to General David Petraeus, retired Army Colonel Derek Harvey.  Portions of it are reproduced below.

As Gen. David Petraeus prepares his critical testimony to Congress this week, one key figure advising him is a retired Army colonel from O’Fallon, Ill., whose Iraq advice the administration once ignored.

Derek Harvey has operated beneath the public radar for the entire Iraq war yet is regarded by many as the single most-informed American on military developments in Iraq. For the past 15 months, as Petraeus’ senior civilian adviser, Harvey has been a prime advocate — and architect — of the troop surge and altered policies credited with reducing violence in Iraq.

Harvey says he hopes Petraeus’ testimony will give Congress — and the public — a picture of Iraq’s improving conditions, including grass-roots citizen participation, despite recent violence in the south.

“What you have is local, town and county governing capacity being reborn, a sense of getting back to normal,” Harvey says.

Harvey sees significant advances, even if some are hard to put into numerical terms.

“There has been widespread, and real, progress, in Sunni Arab towns that have rejected al-Qaida, and in accommodation and reconciliation between Shia and Sunnis in Baghdad and in mixed areas of the country,” Harvey says.

“One can debate the wisdom of the war and its origins, but that is not the point for me and many who have been involved. It’s about the future, how do we make it an acceptable outcome?”

As an editorial note, I would like to echo this sentiment.  Discussions about the origin of the campaign should have been relegated to the first several months after the invasion.  The balance of our efforts should be focused on winning the campaign in order for our efforts to be fruitful.  Colonel Harvey’s position is mature and rises above political rancor.  Continuing, the article goes into unheeded warnings about a rising Sunni insurgency.

Early on, he privately told President George W. Bush and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that a strong Sunni insurgency was probable, that U.S. leaders didn’t understand their adversary and that American forces needed to provide better security for Iraqi civilians as part of a counterinsurgency strategy.

By several accounts, a startled Bush asked Harvey how he could know that the Sunnis were planning a “popular insurrection,” when dozens of more-senior officials had given assurances that no such thing would happen. Harvey, who speaks Arabic, responded that he had spent time with sheiks, tribal leaders and Sunni people listening to their anger and plans to retake power after what they saw as Saddam’s mismanagement of the war, while advisers painting a rosy picture hadn’t done that.

“Harvey is hands down the very best intelligence analyst that the United States government has on Iraq,” says former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane. “He has been right from late ’03 all the way … up to the present.

“Not everybody has listened to Harvey, but Gen. Petraeus has, and so he’s making a difference,” says Keane, who retired but is now a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, an advisory panel …

Al-Qaida, which once loomed as a winner in Iraq, has been severely weakened, Harvey says, and what looked like an inevitable war between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq has yielded to growing reconciliation.

The article concludes with Harvey being seen as someone who understands the complexity and nuance of the Iraq campaign, but also a sad note about the continuing lack of ability to promote the right people.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he has requested several briefings from Harvey because of his “unusually thoughtful insights into Iraq. He is somebody who works very, very hard to untangle all the nuances, and is always in my view prepared to step back and examine the assumptions, a critical feature for an analyst.”

Harvey has done doctoral-level Middle East studies, and while serving at U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base before 9/11, he worked on the threat posed to the United States by Afghanistan, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

Harvey was denied promotion to the rank of a one- or two-star general, leading to his retirement, which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, calls “a travesty” and “a sign of the continuing failure of the Army to adopt priorities that fit the modern world.”

Gingrich says both Gen. John Abizaid and Gen. George Casey, when they led U.S. forces in Iraq, told him that Harvey “was the most knowledgeable person on Iraq that we had.”

“He retired as a colonel … and yet he goes back again and again to Iraq to continue to determine plans for victory,” Gingrich said, calling Harvey’s efforts “simply stunning.”

Harvey credits Petraeus’ leadership, which he says is “why people like me have been willing to sacrifice.”

This ability to “untangle all the nuances” led Harvey to advocate a hard position on al Qaeda and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006.

Some senior intelligence officers believe Zarqawi’s role may have been overemphasized by the propaganda campaign, which has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist. Although Zarqawi and other foreign insurgents in Iraq have conducted deadly bombing attacks, they remain “a very small part of the actual numbers,” Col. Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Army meeting at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last summer.

In a transcript of the meeting, Harvey said, “Our own focus on Zarqawi has enlarged his caricature, if you will — made him more important than he really is, in some ways.”

“The long-term threat is not Zarqawi or religious extremists, but these former regime types and their friends,” said Harvey.

Al Qaeda and foreign insurgents have certainly been part of the Iraq campaign.  In Why are we succeeding in Iraq – or are we? we noted feedback from debriefing of Marines The Captain’s Journal performed after Operation Alljah.  “We killed Chechens, Africans, and men with slanted eyes – we don’t know where they were from.  But we didn’t kill a single Iraqi.”

But the final campaign for Fallujah – one might call it the third battle for Fallujah, conducted by the 2/6 Marines – was unique and involved unique preparation of the Marines who were sent in to secure Fallujah from al Qaeda in 2007.  The campaign for Anbar has involved a large part indigenous Sunni fighters, a position we advocated in Al Qaeda, Indigenous Sunnis and the Insurgency in Iraq.

The campaign for Iraq is much too complex and nuanced to be wrapped up by catch-phrases and sound bites.  Colonel Harvey understands this, and we are glad to have him advising General Petraeus.

The Logic of General Sanchez

BY Herschel Smith
7 years ago

Lt. Gen. Sanchez, the erstwhile commander of forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, has come out swinging at just about everyone concerning the campaign in Iraq.

Continuing changes to military strategy alone will not achieve victory, rather it will only “stave off defeat,? he said.

“The administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially the State Department, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure and the American people must hold them accountable.?

Even now, the U.S. government has yet to launch a concerted effort to come up with a strategy to win in Iraq, Sanchez said. Such a strategy should involve political reconciliation among Iraqis, building up the Iraqi security forces and getting Iraq’s regional partners.

Sanchez acknowledged that U.S. officials have adopted that idea, but added that they do not have the necessary nonmilitary resources to carry it out.

“And it is not synchronized, and there is no enforcement of the strategy,? he said.

Sanchez said he realized there were serious challenges to the U.S. military’s strategy in Iraq as soon as he became the top military commander in Iraq.

Asked why he did not speak out about his concerns, Sanchez said general officers take an oath to carry out the orders of the president while in uniform.

“The last thing that America wants, the last thing that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against our political leadership,? he said.

However, general officers do have the option of stepping down if they disagree with the country’s leaders.

Sanchez said he felt he could not resign and go public with his reservations while he was in Iraq, because he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there.

“I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion,? he said.

Perhaps the General is conveniently ignoring the advances in Iraq of late, but rather than engage him on this level, let’s turn our attention to the logic of Sanchez.  As soon as he became top military commander, he says, he recognized that there were “serious challenges” to the strategy.  Regarding his having stayed quiet to stateside command or the civilian authorities about this, the “last thing” we want is for general officers to “stand up against” political leadership.

But if he felt so strongly about these issues, could he not have at least spoken with leadership about strategy?  Don’t officers write doctrine and develop strategy?  If not, then what do officers do in a war?  He sounds more like a private than a Lieutenant General.  But Sanchez knows that  he could have said more than he did concerning strategy, and even resigned his commission.  Why, then, did he not?

Because “he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there.”  But wait.  If he believed that such a move would jeopardize troops, what about a Lt. Gen. who cannot discuss doctrine or strategy and who even now has no original recommendations, believed the war to be a lost cause, and waited until he had retired to say to the remaining 160,000 troops in theater (and who are preparing to deploy) that they could die in vain for a lost cause?

Are his actions now placing the troops in any less jeopardy than bringing attention to what he believed to be a failed strategy? If he had taken the actions he said he was so reluctant to take, would the possibility not have existed in his calculus to effect a change for the better, thus ensuring the greatest possible likelihood of success in Iraq?

His own words appear to indict him for caring more about the success of his career and the exoneration of him from his own failures than about either the campaign or the men under his charge.  Sanchez, for whatever he was during his tenure, appears to have become a bitter curmudgeon rather than a statesman and warrior in the twilight of a career.

Totally aside from past or current strategy or chances of victory in Iraq, his words are a sad testimony about him rather than one about Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Also at the Small Wars Journal Blog: Custer Blames Grant.


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