Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No "Rumsfeld Wars"

Defense Tech is reporting that Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, is distancing himself from responsibility for the war in Iraq.

Given the enormous role played by Rumsfeld, Cheney and the neocons in not only the war in Iraq but the entire forein policy structure of the United States, their sudden interest in reminding people that the ultimate responsibility lies with the President when previously they were happy to stand front and center on this issue, does not bode well for the administration. This makes reports of Bush's increasing isolation seem even more understandable.

The President's entire legacy rests on how he handles Iraq and terrorism. Now the partners that got him in up to his neck are distancing themselves. Or, perhaps, the President has pushed them away as the realization slowly dawns that his policies are not likely to earn him a great place in history.

The Washington Post Magazine story that Defense Tech refers to is an illuminating portrait of Rumsfeld. Far from distancing Rumsfled, it lays the consequences of the war square on his shoulders.

An important point near the end of the article comes from Army Lt. Gen. John P. Abizaid, senior office in Central Command, who summed up the state of the U.S. defenses in the face of actors such as Al Queda. Abizaid concluded that the nation is still unprepared to confront such an enemy.

There may be no "Rumsfeld war" but there is a "Rumsfeld military" and that military has been unsuccessful in prosecuting the war in Iraq. It has only been with the reassertion of the senior military commanders on the ground that there has been any progress in combatting the insurgency.

- Murphy

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