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Saturday, May 8, 2004
Sending Rummy Packing

By Steven Taylor @ 10:18 am

I can think of the following reasons which might reasonably result in Rumsfeld reisgning, or being asked to resign, in regards to Abu Ghraib:

1) His orders led to the abuse.

2) He covered up the abuse.

3) His removal would lead to a boost in military morale and effectiveness,

4) His removal would erase the public diplomacy damage created by the photos.

It strikes me that none of these circumstances exist or would be created by Rumsfeld’s removal. As a result, I see no need for it.

While there are reasonable people who think he should resign (such as Megan McArdle), I simply don’t see such an act as accomplishing anything. Rather, barring additional information, it seems to me to be an over reaction to call for his head.

Filed under: Iraq

Click here to go to the main page.

4 Comments»

  1. From those famous left-wingers Robert Kagan and William Kristol:

    Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld famously talks about preparing for the “unknown unknowns.” Yet the present crisis was hardly unforeseeable, and Rumsfeld did not ensure that the military was prepared to deal with it. He failed to put in place in Iraq a force big enough to handle the challenges at hand. That is a significant failure, and we do not yet know the price that will be paid for it.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/977ovnnr.asp?pg=2

    Comment by Stephen — Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 10:39 am

  2. So Stephen by using the Robert Kagan and William Kristol reasoning, and by extension, yours, let me ask this.

    If 10, 20 or 50 thousand more troops were in place what would have been the result?

    - certainly not a faster drive from Kuwait to Bagdhad that took less than a month without the troops.

    - Less looting in the aftermath? Its possible, but given all the images of Iraqi’s and watchfull armmed US troops captured in the same frames of film its obvious the Iraqi criminals didn’t care who saw them. Any images with looters being gunned down (if allowed under US ROE) while only carrying a computer monitor or mattress would have raised a stink greater than seen today.

    - Less criminal and terrorist violence? Yes more troops probably would have mitigated that. But the Iranian and Syrian flood of terrorists would have happened irregardless of US troop strength.

    - Closer to the point of Steven’s post. Would more US troops have prevented Abu Ghraib? Unqualified no. There is no correlation between numbers of US troops in Iraq and abuse at Abu Ghraib.

    Comment by Marc — Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 8:32 pm

  3. First of all, their reasoning is not my reasoning. Those guys are bozos. I was just using it to show that Rummy is on the hot seat, even with right-wingos.

    As for your “more troops not solve” claims: frankly, you have no evidence. It’s all hypothetical. You concede more troops solve more violence. That seems to be a big concession, especially if the question is, “Was Rummy’s war strat flawed?” Nobody says ‘troops solve all looting’ or ‘quantity of troops key to solve prison rape and torture.’ But the fact is, Rummy’s low-quantity, high-tech plan for toppling Saddam has turned out to be a disaster and there is blood on his hands.

    Comment by Stephen — Sunday, May 9, 2004 @ 11:47 pm

  4. Join Beyond Northern Iraq discussion.

    Comment by Stuart Hughes — Monday, May 10, 2004 @ 8:27 pm

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