October 31, 2006H/T Ray Robinson
MYTH 1: Secretary Rumsfeld ignored military advice to increase troop levels in Iraq.
FACTS: The opposite is true. Rather than ignoring the recommendations of senior military commanders, civilian leaders have relied heavily on their advice.
* In the early planning phases of the Iraq war, for example, although Secretary Rumsfeld was ready to approve plans to deploy up to 400,000 troops if needed, Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command, opted instead for a campaign emphasizing speed rather than mass[...]
MYTH 2: The Defense Department has pursued a “stay the course” strategy that does not allow for adjustments in strategy.
FACTS: The suggestion of a static and unyielding approach to Iraq fails to take into account continuous adjustments in strategy that have been made on the battlefield.
* The program for training and equipping the Iraqi army was revised substantially to stand up a force better suited to internal security and fighting terrorists.
* The Coalition Provisional Authority’s (CPA) initial plan to transfer sovereignty and hold elections was moved up to an earlier date, in response to the desire of the Iraqi people to take charge of their own country[...]
MYTH 3: The administration has been distracted from waging an effective war in Afghanistan by Iraq.
FACTS: Today there are more Coalition forces in Afghanistan than at any time since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001.
* In March 2003, the United States had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan. Today, there are more than 21,000 U.S. forces either under U.S. or NATO command in Afghanistan or directly supporting missions there. Some 20,000 troops from 37 NATO and non-NATO nations are also committed to the effort[...]
MYTH 4: Violence in Iraq may have “cost more than 600,000 Iraqis their lives.”
FACTS: The study this figure is drawn from has been widely disputed.
* Steve Moore, ...[That] tally is wildly at odds with any numbers I have seen in that country. … [T]he key to the validity of cluster sampling is to use enough cluster points. … [T]he Johns Hopkins team says it used 47 cluster points for their sample of 1,849 interviews. This is astonishing: I wouldn't survey a junior high school, no less an entire country, using only 47 cluster points.”[...]
MYTH 5: U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki was “fired,” “removed,” or “cashiered” after suggesting the need for more troops.
FACTS: This is demonstrably false.
* Gen. Shinseki was appointed to a four-year term as chief of staff of the Army and served his full term. When Gen. Shinseki made his oft-cited statement about troop levels in February 2003 during a congressional hearing, it was already well-known that his term would end six months later. Serving longer would have been extraordinary. The only two men to serve longer than four years in the entire 103-year history of the position have been Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Gen. George Marshall.
Friday, November 03, 2006
DoD: 5 myths about the war on terror