May 11, 2005

The Rummy Chronicles

You have to say this about Don Rumsfeld--the old tiger just doesn't give up. I guess that does count for something. He's a survivor. One of the very best the Beltway has ever seen. I have to give him that much.

P.S. But, yes, I stand by all of my earlier criticisms of Rumsfeld over the past couple of years.

Posted by Gregory at May 11, 2005 04:08 AM | TrackBack (5)

the most frustrating thing about Rumsfeld is that his reforms are based on the valid perception that the military is a vastly inefficient bureaucracy. The problem is that the military that Rumsfeld envisions is inconsistent with the role that Rumsfeld wants the US military to play in the world -- or more accurately, the role that Rumsfeld want the US military to play in the world is inconsistent with the world itself.

Rumsfeld seems to think that all the US has to do is defeat "the enemy", and everything else will fall into place. Our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate the failure of this approach --- at least in practice with the Bush regime. Rumsfeld's approach might work if the US military were part of international efforts, in which the US would defeat "the enemy" and the international community would provide security and peace-keeping forces after a war itself, but such an approach would require far more co-operation with, and concessions to, the international community that the Bush regime is willing to provide.

Rumsfeld, in other words, would probably have made a fine Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration! :)

Posted by: p.lukasiak at May 11, 2005 02:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, Greg, Janet Reno was a survivor too. So was Sam Pierce.

If you have a weak President who feels himself forced to delegate large amounts of authority in certain areas or (in Pierce's case) if the President just isn't interested in you department, survival becomes a lot easier.

Frankly, I've always thought a lot of our current foreign policy problems stemmed from Rumsfeld's mania for winning bureaucratic battles, a sign to me that he never quite surmounted his ambition to be President himself. And, in some respects, if he had been President starting in 2001 the course of US foreign policy might have been very different,and conceivably more successful.

Posted by: JEB at May 11, 2005 03:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The way I saw it, if he wasn't going to step down over Abu Ghraib before the election, there wasn't much chance of him leaving afterwards. Of course, I have a very cynical view of this administration as playing politics with everything. But I expected you to be more surprised at this, Greg.

Posted by: fling93 at May 11, 2005 07:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Rumsfeld seems to think that all the US has to do is defeat "the enemy", and everything else will fall into place.

Defeating the enemy is the military's primary function. If you don't defeat the enemy, everything else is irrelevant.

Rumsfeld's focus is appropriate.

Posted by: rosignol at May 13, 2005 08:59 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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