Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Curse of Rumsfieldism

Brad Delong republished an article from the Wall Street Journal on why we don't have armored humvees. The WSJ piece gives us these two key quotes:

"...there were other reasons for the Army to think it didn't need more of the vehicles: When President Bush took office, he seemed to be intent on paring back the military's peacekeeping commitments in the Balkans, and keeping U.S. forces out of similar engagements in the future,"

Ah yes, the mother of all flip-flops, but there is more:

"Army officials insist that no one could have predicted that the service would have been involved in such a huge peacekeeping effort, which dwarfs previous missions to the Balkans, Haiti and Somalia."

No one could have perdicted such commitment? Some might disagree:

"All of us thought a big force is going to be required for quite some time," said Thomas White, the former Army secretary, who was fired by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld last year over policy disputes. "That's what Shinseki said. That's what I said. It's been Don Rumsfeld's view that the military asks for too much force."

Apparently we are not quite out of fantasyland yet.


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