Former Secretary of State Colin Powell resurrects the old 'not enough troops for Iraq' complaint today, much to the delight of war critics. He has the obvious ligitmacy of actually having been in a President's war cabinet at one time. Powell now maintains that he had raised the case for more troops to be deployed for the occupation phase. Condi Rice, however, said that:
...she did not "remember specifically" what instance Powell was referring to on his recommending to President George W. Bush that more troops be sent.
Condi is probably right since Powell has obviously forgotten about the following in relation to the troop strength issue:
— Powell failed to deliver on the primary operational aspect of OIF that could have prevented the 'insurgency' we see today: convincing Turkey to allow the passage of the 4th Infantry Division so that it could attack from the north and seize the Sunni Triangle. Neither Powell nor any of his State Department functionaries have explained this massive diplomatic bungle.
— He seems to forget his role in the Clinton drawdown that placed us in this precarious position in the first place. At first, he developed a base force plan of a floor of 580,000 for the Army by 1997. Then, while Gen. Powell was still Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Army's strength was already 8,000 fewer soldiers than the floor allowed. Things only got worse from there.
— Powell complains about not enough troops in Iraq to quell the rising violence, yet doesn't remember that by June of 2003, an additional three division equivalents were already operating in Iraq. Perhaps this deployment wasn't fast enough for the former SecState, or maybe State Department people were muddying the waters with their enlightened governance policies. I would advise the General to get the relevant numbers first; then criticize.
— And last but not least, Powell, along with National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, convinced Bush '41 to hold up short of complete victory in Gulf War I thereby setting up the conditions for our 15 year war with Saddam Hussein.
If anything, this latest episode involving Colin Powell further reveals the motivations of the revolting generals. Having descended to the depths of enlightened credentialism on modern warfighting theory, they can't accept responsibility for their own shortcomings in battle. The only sure route to absolution is to blame it on a civilian. It's a good thing they weren't around during WW II; FDR would have had them ushered out the door.
Doug Hanson 05—01—06