Saturday, October 13, 2007

Et tu Richardo?

This will get a lot of play for a week or so - but not really a shock that he came out like this.
He called current strategies - including the deployment of 30,000 additional forces earlier this year - a "desperate attempt" to make up for years of misguided policies in Iraq.

"There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," Sanchez told a group of journalists covering military affairs.
He is in a funk - and doesn't have anything constructive to offer.
"There is nothing going on today in Washington that would give us hope" that things are going to change, he said.

Sanchez went on to offer a pessimistic view on the current U.S. strategy against extremists will make lasting gains, but said a full-scale withdrawal also was not an option.

"The American military finds itself in an intractable situation ... America has no choice but to continue our efforts in Iraq," said Sanchez, who works as a consultant training U.S. generals.
He is right about this.
The retired soldier stressed that it became clear during his command that the mission was severely handicapped because the State Department and other agencies were not adequately contributing to a mission that could not be won by military force alone.
Congress could fix the personnel rules for State, but they can't seem to get past that block. LTG Sanchez, instead of throwing stones around his house, should perhaps spend more time along these lines.
Sanchez told the gathering that he thought he had made mistakes and said he didn't always fully appreciate the secondary affects (sic) of actions the military took.
Oh, and there are stories....

I think in summary Sanchez is saying, "I didn't do a good job, nothing we can do will help, we can't win, but we have to keep doing more of the same."

Huh? I recommend more golf and less microphones for awhile. Richardo; heal thyself.
UPDATE: OK, I know it is "Ricardo" not "Richardo." Sue me. I still say "Bombay" and not Mumbai ... and Burma has always been Burma .... but that is not the reason for the update. I am reminded, again of
some of my favorite quotes from Nagl’s “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam” came to mind.

You know how we needed a new man(Petraeus) and a new plan (Surge), well, the British ran into the same problem during the Malaya Emergency.
Montgomery to Lyttelton:

“Dear Lyttelton,
We must have a plan.
Secondly we must have a man.
When we have a plan and a man, we shall succeed: not otherwise.

Yours Sincerely,
Montgomery (F.M.)
Afterwards he selected General Sir Gerald Templer. Pp.87.

This applies quite well also.
31 July 1960. In its Special Edition proclaiming the end of the Emergency, the Straits Times commented, “Perhaps there is no great point in recalling all the tragic and idiotic blunders, all the false optimism, all the unrealism of the first phases of the war, but it is not possible to appreciate fully the heroism of the Security Forces unless the stupidities of some of those in command are remembered.” Pp. 103.

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