Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another Look at Rumsfeld

Bill Hawkins is a former Congressional employee of Jim Sensenbrenner; he has credibility. Thus, his comments on the Rummy Regime at DOD are of interest.

A major theme of the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1585), drafted by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), is rebuilding military capabilities shown to be inadequate during five years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overstretched Army and Marine ground forces, and a troubled defense industrial base, will hopefully be given well-deserved attention in the post-Rumsfeld era.

Donald Rumsfeld will likely to go down in history as the worst Defense Secretary since Robert McNamara in the Kennedy-Johnson administrations. Both Rumsfeld and McNamara brought into office abstract notions of how wars should be fought, drawn up while serving as corporate executives, only to have the harsh reality of actual warfare turn their ideas into hash.

"The worst since MacNamara" is strong medicine. On the other hand, "Lean Manufacturing" is not applicable as easily to combat; with "Lean" there is statistical probability, learned in a relatively controlled environment. In combat, there is no such thing as a "controlled environment", and statistical probability exists only in expected results of overall firepower.

There's a difference. If you lack significant advantage in 'overall firepower,' you may have a problem.

Iraq was to be the testbed for Rumsfeld’s vision of small, fast, light units conducting lightning campaigns and then quickly withdrawing back to a continental American reserve. Failing to understand the political purposes of war, or the nature of the enemy, proved his undoing. The need for more troops, with heavier weapons and armor, has been the lesson of Iraq.

Which explains Petraeus' "surge" to some extent.

The HASC thus cut $867 million of the Army’s request for more than $3.6 billion for the Future Combat System, a fleet of fast, light vehicles that were the center of Rumsfeld’s transformation concept. The lawmakers want fully funded ($4.1 billion) the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for the Army and Marines.

There's more at the link.


Random10 said...

Ann Coulter said, "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." President Bush chooses to invade their countries, capture their leaders and convert them to self governing voters. The vision of Donald Rumsfeld was more limited. Invade their countries, destroy the threats and get out. I am not saying that each strategy is without merit, but in retrospect, finding and neutralizing the bad guys with swift and flexible forces is probably nothing our former Secretary is ashamed of championing.

Dad29 said...

I'm sure Rummy's not ashamed of it.

Only problem is that in the entire history of warfare, that's never happened (unless you count RR's work in Grenada as a "war.")

The Asian Badger said...

Rummy was positioning the military for the post Cold War world (lightning modular troops that could combine and be force multipliers) when 9/11 took place.

He got caught trying to fight a war he was NOT geared to fight. Iraq required a massive force and the military got caught in the transition.

Not his fault, really, but he was not an effective wartime commander.

The references to McNamara are apt, IMHO.