Generals vs Bush

This is a good read.

Transitioning to Iraqi control was a logical option for the long run. But it did little to solve the problem of the insurgency, which was generating sectarian violence. Based on the belief by many senior commanders, especially Gen. Abizaid, that U.S. troops were an “antibody” to Iraqi culture, the Americans consolidated their forces on large “forward operating bases,” maintaining a presence only by means of motorized patrols that were particularly vulnerable to attacks by improvised explosive devices. They also conceded large swaths of territory and population alike to the insurgents. Violence spiked.

In late 2006, President Bush, like President Lincoln in 1862, adopted a new approach to the war. He replaced the uniformed and civilian leaders who were adherents of the failed operational approach with others who shared his commitment to victory rather than “playing for a tie.” In Gen. David Petraeus, Mr. Bush found his Ulysses Grant, to execute an operational approach based on sound counterinsurgency doctrine. This new approach has brought the U.S. to the brink of victory.

4 thoughts on “Generals vs Bush

  1. It is…but you missed maybe the more important point:

    Although the conventional narrative about the Iraq war is wrong, its persistence has contributed to the most serious crisis in civil-military relations since the Civil War. According to Mr. Woodward’s account, the uniformed military not only opposed the surge, insisting that their advice be followed; it then subsequently worked to undermine the president once he decided on another strategy.

    In one respect, the actions taken by military opponents of the surge, e.g. “foot-dragging,” “slow-rolling” and selective leaking are, unfortunately, all-too-characteristic of U.S. civil-military relations during the last decade and a half. But the picture Mr. Woodward draws is far more troubling. Even after the policy had been laid down, the bulk of the senior U.S. military leadership — the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, the rest of the Joint Chiefs, and Gen. Abizaid’s successor, Adm. William Fallon, actively worked against the implementation of the president’s policy.

    If Mr. Woodward’s account is true, it means that not since Gen. McClellan attempted to sabotage Lincoln’s war policy in 1862 has the leadership of the U.S. military so blatantly attempted to undermine a president in the pursuit of his constitutional authority. It should be obvious that such active opposition to a president’s policy poses a threat to the health of the civil-military balance in a republic.

  2. I didn’t miss it.
    I didn’t even comment on the thing, i said read it.

    I’d say the title was it Generals vs Bush.

  3. While I don’t know the veracity of Woodward’s claims (since he does have a history of getting exact quotes from two person meetings when later both claim they never said what he quotes, not too mention speaking with literally comatose individuals)
    I think on the whole, there is much truth to what is claimed. It’s almost that after the initial successes of the invasion when the going got tough, many uniformed leaders tried to change history by saying “he didn’t listen to us!” and then resisting civilian (read Bush/Rumsfeld) direction.

    More significantly and touched on by no one to include MT Owens, is the greater discussion of the active undermining of Buch policies via active leaking of intelligence secrets (CIA) as well as active undermining of foriegn policy by the State Department career employees.

    So, three major cabinet departments were actively or passively undermining our elected leader.

    THAT’s the missing key, ladies.

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