ARMCHAIR GENERALS COLONELS

Ralph Peters is getting rather boring. The latest installment of his anti-Rumsfeld rant continues to blame the SecDef for all manner of ills–even those that don’t exist:

Still, Secretary Rumsfeld cannot have it both ways. Either he expected a short war, in which case he did not intend to deploy those heavy divisions from the States, or he expected a long war all along.

The truth is that OSD expected a brief, nearly painless conflict, despite months of warnings from those in uniform. The deployment of units Pentagon spokespersons now insist were “always in the pipeline” was simply a matter of pro forma military planning. The military bureaucracy so despised by the secretary of defense has provided him a fig leaf. But it does not help the troops in the field, who have been deprived of the back-up forces essential for security and a margin of safety. The troops are winning impressively – despite Secretary Rumsfeld’s micromanagement.

This is lunacy. The war has been brief and nearly painless. Sure, it would have been great to have had the regime collapse from a lucky hit that first night, but virtually nobody thought it was likely to be over in less than two weeks. It would be hard to conceive of a war going better, given the objectives involved. And Peters can’t have it both ways, either: You can’t blame Rumsfeld for everything that’s going wrong without giving him credit for what’s going right. And virtually everything has gone right up until now.

Bill Keller more or less agrees with me on this.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.