JCS Chairman and Rumsfeld at odds over history

The headline at Politico  says Admiral “Mike Mullen disputes Donald Rumsfeld on Afghan troop request.”  


“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pushed back in a fact-checking dispute with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asserting that the Bush administration rejected a Pentagon request for more troops for Afghanistan last year.  Adm. Michael Mullen told a House committee Wednesday that Gen. David McKiernan, who led U.S. troops in Afghanistan between 2008 and this year, had asked for 20,000 troops for the effort but was rebuffed.”


Um, Donald Rumsfeld was replaced as Secretary of Defense in 2006.  His replacement was Robert Gates, who stayed on to be President Obama’s SecDef.


General McKiernan, by the way, was the commander in Afghanistan from June 2008 to June 2009 when Gates and Obama fired him, meaning he served in that role under President Bush for about the last seven months of President Bush’s term.  His immediate boss, at Central Command, was General Petraeus.


Here, by the way, was part of Rumsfeld’s response to Obama’s speech:


“Such a bald misstatement, at least as it pertains to the period I served as Secretary of Defense, deserves a response.  I am not aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006.”


Apparently, we got in trouble in Afghanistan only in the latter half of 2008:

·         Well more than a year after Rumsfeld was no longer Secretary of Defense.

·         In the last half year of President Bush’s second term and almost seven years after US troops had first been sent there.

·         Under the leadership of Robert Gates, President Obama’s current Secretary of Defense.

·         And under the leadership of General Petraeus, current commander of US Central Command.


Way to go, Admiral.  How many people are you willing to throw under the bus just to keep your lips sewed to your Commander In Chief?

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