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Thread: US general says Iraq could 'break' army

  1. #1
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    20 Aug 03

    US general says Iraq could 'break' army

    US general says Iraq could 'break' army

    Saturday, 16 December 2006

    In this Nov. 19, 2003, file photo, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill.

    Schoomker warned Thursday that his force 'will break' without thousands more active duty troops and greater use of the reserves. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)US general says Iraq could 'break' army

    The US Army's highest-ranking uniformed officer has warned that without more men and money, his active-duty force "will break" under the strains of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The warning by General Peter Schoomaker, the Army's Chief of Staff, came as Donald Rumsfeld spent his final day at the Pentagon yesterday. They have been taken as a plea to Robert Gates, the incoming Defence Secretary who will be sworn in on Monday, to strengthen the armed forces.
    It is widely expected that the new Pentagon chief will replace key senior advisers, including Marine General Peter Pace, the joint chiefs chairman, and possibly General John Abizaid, who is in charge of US Central Command which oversees the Iraq war.

    In his testimony to a congressional panel, General Schoomaker called for the forces to be expanded by 7,000 a year for the foreseeable future. At current levels, the Army was "incapable of generating and sustaining the required forces to wage the global war on terror", he said

    Gen Schoomaker said the army had been "flat-footed" when it embarked on the Iraq war in 2003 with a force barely a third the size of the 500,000-strong army that drove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991.

    In a separate development, nearly 1,000 members of the US military, have signed a petition calling for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. Their number is said to include dozens of officers, most of them on active service.
    The Independent
    How far is the General correct?

    Very demoralising, apart from not being supportive of the government policy or so it appears to me.

    Whatever, one must slog on and make the govt policy effective. That is what the Army is all about.

    Whimpering an excuses are big no nos.

    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    13 Dec 06
    Well, I think the US Army has ended up with an impossible mission in Iraq: fight the Iraqis until they love you isn't much of a government policy.

    War is politics, and no strategy or tactics or weapon systems can achieve a political outcome, if that outcome is simply unavailable.

    The current generation of Iraqis will never be politically friendly to the USA. Even the USA's best friends and most willing collaborators in Iraq will tend to be cynical, suspicious, and selfishly motivated. Not the stuff of a viable friendly state.

    Short of a carrying out a series of massacres and forced deportations (the combination of things we now call "genocide"), there is no way the US armed forces can establish or maintain Iraq as a country friendly to the USA.

    The political assumption behind the war was that the deposition of Saddam would naturally lead to a friendly Iraq. The US armed forces achieved the political objective they were originally given--depose Saddam. They did.

    It's not the Army's fault if the underlying political assumption behind the war proved to be completely mistaken. The deposition of Saddam did not at all lead to a friendly Iraq. Instead the downfall of Saddam and the Ba'ath led to a classic guerrilla, multi-sided, confusing, and ghastly. The war didn't end with the fall of Saddam--it only properly began there.

    The government directs the armed forces. The government policy was proven by events to be wrong.

    Sometime in 2004 a rational government should have formed a fresh policy, based on observed facts. Instead, the US government has dodged its way from expedient to expedient, from excuse to excuse, and from election to election. Meanwhile its armed forces fight on without a realistic object, and without a government willing to take responsibility for the barren result of its policy.

    If there are any murmurs of discontent in the armed forces, one must bear in mind that first, failure is an orphan, and second, that in a republic, one doesn't necessarily want to see uncritical loyalty in the armed forces.

    A lot of American generals were never keen on this adventure to begin with, and from the start some of them went public with their objections.

    The question of how to govern Iraq post-Saddam was a question raised all the way back in 1991--read the memoirs of Scwarzkopf or Powell, both of whom wrote years before the 2003 invasion.
    Last edited by cape_royds; 16 Dec 06, at 21:42.

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