Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Consequences of Unheeded Advice

The White House and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld have all but said that it was their intention from the start to fight the Iraq war on the cheap.

The 145,000 troops sent there have been inadequate, especially in the vitaly important but woefully underplanned post-"victory" clean-up and stabilization phases, and all calls for more troops have been rejected out of hand.

Pentagon officials acknowledged yesterday that one of the people calling for more troops was Paul Bremer, the senior U.S. official in Iraq during the first year of the war. According to an Associated Press story, Bremer told Rumsfeld in May 2004 that a far larger number of U.S. troops were needed to effectively fight the insurgency -- 500,000 to be exact.

Bremer confirmed in an NBC News interview Sunday that his memo to Rumsfeld suggested half a million troops were needed to do the job properly -- more than three times the number there at the time. And now.

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