Thursday, January 26, 2006

Victory is defeat: Take III

Take I was: “We have not been attacked again because the terrorists are in Iraq fighting, and are growing each day because we are making them.” That didn’t work for the Left very long and ran out of news cycles, so….

Take II was: “The administration plans to reduce troops in Iraq was our idea, not because the U.S. is winning or Iraq forces are growing, but because, let me remind you, we The Left in this country have forced the administration to. Well, that just made them look silly; so…..

Take III: The U.S. does not see victory on the horizon. Iraqis are not taking charge of their future; the U.S. Army is broken and quitting – not winning

Make no mistake, there is a large political segment that simply will not process a victory. They will either undermine to make a defeat, and if that fails – spin victory into defeat. The Rumplestilskins of the war on Islamic terror.
Look at the title of the piece, "Report: Deployments Nearly Breaking Army." Notice what I notice?
Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.
He wrote that the Army is "in a race against time" to adjust to the demands of war "or risk `breaking' the force in the form of a catastrophic decline" in recruitment and re-enlistment. (you can almost hear the authors breathlessness)
Krepinevich's analysis, while consistent with the conclusions of some outside the Bush administration, is in stark contrast with the public statements of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and senior Army officials.
Krepinevich is executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonprofit policy research institute. (BTW, read his stuff (link above on his name) in total. It is much better than you think, and asks hard questions and no-soft-edges comments with solid research. Here is the "Thin Green Line." Read that especially for his NATO comments. That is worth a post all by itself.
Realizing, methinks, that he may have overstreatched his point, the author hedges his bets.
George Joulwan, a retired four-star Army general and former NATO commander, agrees the Army is stretched thin.

"Whether they're broken or not, I think I would say if we don't change the way we're doing business, they're in danger of being fractured and broken, and I would agree with that," Joulwan told CNN last month.
Michael O'Hanlon, a military expert at the private Brookings Institution, (Strobe Talbot, President) said in a recent interview that "it's a judgment call" whether the risk of breaking the Army is great enough to warrant expanding its size.
And then gives Team Rummy a shot to further back away from the panic start.
Army Secretary Francis Harvey, for example, opened a Pentagon news conference last week by denying the Army was in trouble. "Today's Army is the most capable, best-trained, best-equipped and most experienced force our nation has fielded in well over a decade," he said, adding that recruiting has picked up.

Rumsfeld has argued that the experience of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has made the Army stronger, not weaker.

"The Army is probably as strong and capable as it ever has been in the history of this country,"
BTW, this “story” is getting major play both in the U.S. and overseas (BBC, usual suspects). Given the known point of view of the WaPo, we know that this story is spun and edited in the way to look worst for the U.S. There are good things in the report that deserve review. Just like there are grains of truth in Takes I, II, and III. Though the WaPo is trying to show both sides, look here and here, remember to keep a lookout on the spin and politics of what you read. It isn’t the last word or the gospel. Caveat emptor.

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