Monday, August 29, 2005

These boots on the ground are made for stompin'

Interviewed by Hugh Hewitt last Friday, The Beltway Boys, (Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes) joined the chorus many of us have been singing ever since the looting broke out in Baghdad (April 2003) : the number of troops in Iraq is too small to do the job.

The President says that the generals will have everything they need, if they ask for it, and they haven't asked for it. Our military are "make do" people. They work on the needs of the next minute, with no whining about hearts’ desires (especially if they detect insufficient will up the chain of command to deliver the goods). When Secretary Rumsfeld (who was asked for 250,000 troops to invade Iraq, and counter-offered 100,000) is the man who has the President’s ear, the generals hunker down with resources at hand. They know that Rumsfeld is focused on a weapons-based “transformation” of the military, and they’re too busy to go begging.

But we can read between the lines.

Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Michael W. Hagee, in July’s Leatherneck magazine: "Although we are getting weapons systems, the focus is on the Marine. We want the individual Marine to be properly educated, trained and also fully equipped, not just with large platforms... In many ways, education is more transformational than some of the new equipment... In the last two years, we have sent 4,000 Marines to foreign language courses... we are putting Marines through a series of classes in Arabic culture and Islamic religion before they rotate... something we have never seen before.”

Smart guys in big boots—the more the better. This is not some “theory of 21st-century warfare”—this is reality. Rummy and Bush need to get with the program.


Anonymous said...
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Mr.Atos said...

Unfortunately, I think that the President and his team realize that Iraq is the training program... for a conflict that has yet to come. The more seasoned our the troops, the more formidable the defense. The more seasoned the population, the more stern our perseverence. We may certainly need both... unfortunately.