Don Rumsfeld claims that no one anticipated the strength of the insurgency in Iraq.
"Well, I think that anyone who looks at it with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight has to say that there was not an anticipation that the level of insurgency would be anything approximating what it is," Rumsfeld told CNN for the documentary, "CNN Presents Rumsfeld -- Man of War," which debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Well, he could be right, if he said that 'Don Rumsfeld didn't anticipate the strength of the insurgency.' For that matter, neither did George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz or the rest of the neocon idiots that planned this war.
But it is wrong to say that no one anticipated it.
Gen. Eric Shinseki anticipated it. He calculated before the war that the U.S. would need 400,000 troops after the fall of Baghdad in order to prevent an insurgency from taking root. This directly contradicted the 'Rumsfeld doctrine' of supposedly being able to do this lightly (read cheaply-- this is what happens when you have fiscal conservatives running a war.) Rumsfeld remained fixed on his initial estimate of 100,000 troops and-- in a clear signal to the rest of the military leadership-- forced Gen. Shinseki to retire. Gen. Casey, who knew better than to openly confront the boss, sweet talked him up to 150,000 but that was still a woefully inadequate number.
And remember all that talk from Bush and Rumsfeld about not taking decisions on the ground away from the generals, and about how 'if they ask for more forces on the ground then we will give it to them?'
Well, also from the linked article:
One of those is the man who led the 1st Infantry Division in northwest Iraq in 2004. Former U.S. Army Maj. Gen John Batiste said he asked for more troops and was turned down.
"We're in a real fix right now [in Iraq]," Batiste told CNN. "We're there because Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ignored sound military advice, dismissed it all, went with his plan and his plan alone."
By 2004 the insurgency was in full swing and we had heard that promise of letting the generals make the call multiple times on TV. It was all a big fat lie, but they said it anyway because they were trying to win an election.
It's bad enough that we are led by incompetents. But it is worse that their incompetence is mixed with an unwillingness to let the military leaders do their jobs.