Rumsfeld's Iraq Options in Leaked Memo


Looks like some good ideas. Whaddya ya’ll think?

I found this one particularly innovative:

I’m surprised we’re not already doing that.

I think it explains why Bush fired him.

The scary part is that I don’t reject that idea completely out of hand. Rumsfeld has faithfully carried water for Bush for years. It’s very much a “my way or the highway” guy in charge.

Do you think the fact that some of these ideas track with the Democrats’ plans will add to the likelihood that Bush might budge?

What do you think of the proposals?

OH! The OP. Um, yes.

I like this idea a bit:

I’m assuming he means to have people who know what they’re doing help the Iraqi government learn how to run a government, since we blindly de-Baathed it, leaving nobody with civil experience. Of course, that won’t work unless they can be given protection.

I don’t care for the idea of a token Iraqi soldier in each unit, but perhaps associating platoons with a U.S. or Coalition might help.

Another idea with potential would be withholding money and “protection” from those areas which continue to give us problems. The issue there, I think, is that it only exacerbates the large-scale civil war potential.

That said, I am, sadly, increasingly of the opinion that there is no longer much we can do to fix Iraq. We are, eventually, going to have to leave them to their own devices and hope for the best. The best may be Saddam redux.

Yeah, that also seems like something we should have been doing all along. I suppose Rumsfeld implies that we were, but the other Departments in charge of it are dropping the ball. I’d like to hear more about that.

Why not a solider or two in each unit? Seems to me that it would have the very effect that Rummy describes.

I think it comes down to whether the troops are doing more harm than good. Even the proponents of pulling out think that the effect might be similar to the partitioning of India, during which hundreds of thousands were killed. I think, as bad as things are, they could still be much worse and I am not yet convinced that the much worse part is inevitable.

At a minimum, it seems to me that we have an obligation to try all of the good ideas that involve staying before we leave. At it seems to me from this memo that we haven’t done that.

Because it’s not enough. The situation in Korea involves merely an ignorance of the host country; Iraq involves both that and the fact the Iraqi Army is untrained and inexperienced. One Iraqi, even if they’re frequently rotated, is not going to be enough to influence very many in the Iraqi Army. I think that the professionalism and skills of our Army would be better demonstrated to larger groups.

I’m with Squink on this, assuming he’s come to the same conclusion that I have, which is, that Rummy has slipped his moorings. For instance…

Huh? Does he really imagine truckloads of US military retirees flocking to volunteer for unarmed combat duty in Iraq? The kind where you’re just as much at risk, but don’t get to shoot back? Are National Guard units and Reserve units turning away mobs of volunteers?

Stuff we’ve already used half to death, or the new equipment we have to order to replace it? They get first dibs? How long will it take non-Arabic speaking trainers to instruct Iraqi troops? On each and every piece of equipment?

If we experience any resistance and/or insurrection, we will withdraw. And how, exactly, would a province or city “openly request” U.S. forces to recreate the Fallujah Re-Development Initiative. Has he not seen those polls, showing that huge majorities have Iraqis would vote for “Fuck Off and Die, America!”?

Force isn’t working, try painting more schools.

Force isn’t working try bribes.

Presumably, those key political and religious leaders who already agree with us. This should enhance their “street cred” enormously. Maybe one of those NASCAR jackets, with USA logos all over it, or the trademark of Target Stores, so they can be readily identified by the adoring public.

Doing, in the name of God, what? What?

Its kind of like that Pee Wee movie, where he tries to do a trick on a bike, fails utterly, and announces “I meant to do that”. (This one seems to have stuck…we hear a lot about “adjusting” in pursuit of “victory”. Which is very akin to “not losing”.)

Have we been offered any evidence that an inflow of people from Syria and Iran is a substantial issue? There’s hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Iraq, but rushing in? And from whence these “substantial U.S. forces”? Are they the ones withdrawn from province and cities who haven’t shown proper gratitude? And if the provinces where the borders are located don’t “request”?

The maunderings of a senile fool, who imagines capabilities that exist nowhere else but the confines of his dream world. He is like Hitler ordering phantom Panzer divisions to the defense of Berlin.

Rummy has enemies. If an ordinary smart-ass like myself can make such jolly fun with this gibbering lunacy, imagine what an ambitious back-stabber could accomplish?

Two bits says that when GeeDub said Rummy was staying, period, full stop, wink, wink, say no more…he hadn’t read this memo. When he had, and somebody explained it to him, it was bye-bye Rumelito.

I don’t understand how anyone can take that pile of BS seriously and yet it is discussed seriously in the media and by politicians. America has really gone off the deep end so far that they are basing their opinions and decisions on ideas which have little resemblance with reality. And they do not understand why nothing is working out right. One thing is for sure and I have said this from day one of this fiasco: Whatever the American government comes up with, it will be a day late and a dollar short.

The Iraqi forces are infiltrated, or rather, composed, by people who have their own loyalties and are not loyal to the American-sponsored “government”. (I use “government” in a loose sense as they hardly “govern” anything. Maybe they govern their own homes when their wives are out shopping but I suspect this happens rather infrequently these days.)

It is not a matter of military training. It is a matter that they are trying to create a pro Maliki-Bush army with recruits who are very against the idea of having a puppet government controlled by the Great Satan. This is like Israel saying to Hamas “come hither and we will arm you and train you” and then expecting Hamas to become pro-Israeli.

America is very interested in preventing a strong, powerful, united, Iraqi military for the simple reason that the first thing it would do is threaten America and side with Iran. Forget it. America pays lip service to training Iraqis while it figures out how to get out.

I believe anyone who seriously discusses the training of Iraqi forces as the solution to the problem is just totally ignorant of the basic reality and premise of the problem and needs to be taught that Iraqis are not Americans. Iraqis want different things, in fact, give an Iraqi a gun and ammo and, probably, the first thing he’d like to shoot is an American.

America, like a mob, put aside all rational thinking and decided to enjoy some good old violence and destruction. They insulted the entire world and arrogantly proceeded with their plan but it seems they bit off more than they could chew and now the rest of the world is sitting on their hands enjoying the spectacle of the big bully being brought down by its own drunken stupidity. It’s sad because, as I recently heard, “Americans can be quite nice. . . when they’re not trying to kill you”.

Here’s one path we could take to “victory.” I don’t think you’ll find many in the news media talking about it though.

  1. Side with the Shia
  2. Help them purge/oppress the Sunni (only what, 6-7 million people I think? We’d forget it in a week, tops)
  3. Watch the Shia theocracy rise
  4. Leave

That would be the best! Although I doubt the leader of the new theocracy will be, well, secular (duh) or as big a supporter of women’s rights.

Sure looks that way. Exactly the same thing happened with Tenet, remember? He was Bush’s guy, his critics were simply ignorant of the facts and of the heckuva job Tenet was doing it - until he had the temerity to tell the Decider he was wrong about something.

Rummie ain’t even gonna get his Medal of Freedom now - the best he can hope for is a pardon. But Bush may be too spiteful even for that.

That may be so. I was interested in the proposal more for the effect on *our *troops.

Funny, I read Squink’s comment as Bush letting Rummy go because he said something fresh and interesting.

I think, as you demonstrate, you can pick holes in some of these ideas. But I don’t think all of your criticisms are damning (arabic translators for materiel? Uh, how do you think we’re trainin’ those troops?). I also buy that this is just a list of possibilities, and I think it’s the most innovative list we’ve seen. It seems to me that you’ve just shown that some of the ideas are not as good as others. Ok, let’s go with the good ones.

Fresh enough to get him canned, but not all that interesting. The memo seems to be more about selling us Americans on the idea of change and progress than finding ways to make significant progress.

The increasingly irrelevant parliament might go for some personal cash, but would Muqtada?

What would a memo that focused on finding a way to make significant progress look like?

I imagine a memo much like this one with all the ideas on the table. Are there good ideas that aren’t in this memo?

AFAIK the entire KATUSA thing was a miserable failure and dramatically worsened the readiness of the US forces when the Chinese decided to attack, as one would expect when you take 2 guys out of every squad and replace them with illiterate peasants who spoke no English. Of course, the nature of the fighting in Iraq today is a bit different, so it might be a worth a try.

I have to admit to lack of practical military knowledge. Is there some reason a couple of guys couldn’t just be added to a squad without subtracting current members?

I don’t recall the exact details off hand, but part of it was what amounted to accounting trickery, to mask the fact that most of the US Army units were chronically understrength at the time. Essentially what resulted was that US commanders would dispatch units of 1000 men to hold a certain section of the line when in fact that 1000 man unit actually had 700 Americans and 300 other guys who really didn’t know what they were doing and took off for the hills at the first oppurtunity. The central theme was that it was an attempt at “integrating” natives into the US army that never got off the ground because the differences(linguistic, cultural, etc, you have to remember this was the 1950s and the average American didn’t hold the same enlightened view on East Asians they do today) were far too great and it would have been a better idea to keep them seperate.

Stupid on so many levels, it buggers the mind.

English is the most popular second language in the world, there are already more Iraqis who speak American (proportionate to the population, of course) than vice versa. Stands to reason that these are the better educated Iraqi, hence more likely to be from the previously favored caste, i.e., Sunni. Who, to a large degree, hate our guts even more than the Shia. What could motivate such a person to collaborate with the invader?

Maybe this sort of thing would work ok in a school painting expedition, but in combat? Where group unity and cohesiveness is crucial, even paramount? It doesn’t require much practical military knowledge to ask yourself if you would want someone watching your back who a) doesn’t understand what you are saying and b) might very well be a “double agent”. How much trust could you place in such an individual, when its your ass?

They’re disproportionately bailing out, too. 200-3000 refugees leave the place every day.

The memo sounds like a child wrote it. WTF?!

We can’t “win.” Bush has blown our chance at that. It’s time to pull out and admit defeat.