War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly rejected advice from top Pentagon planners that substantially more troops would be needed to fight a war in Iraq. This according to a report by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine.
Rumsfeld insisted at least six times in the run-up to the invasion that the proposed number of ground troops be sharply reduced and got his way.
He also miscalculated the level of Iraqi resistance and overruled advice from war commander Gen. Tommy Franks to delay the invasion until troops who were denied access through Turkey could find another route.
And the Washington Post is reporting that more than a dozen officers interviewed, including a senior officer in Iraq, said Rumsfeld took significant risks by leaving key units in the United States and Germany at the start of the war. That resulted in an invasion force that is too small, strung out, underprotected, undersupplied and awaiting tens of thousands of reinforcements who will not get there for weeks.
Current and former U.S. military officers are blaming Rumsfeld and his aides saying the civilian leaders "micromanaged" the deployment plan out of mistrust of the generals and an attempt to prove their own theory that a light, maneuverable force could handily defeat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Rumsfeld yesterday repeatedly denied the reports on the Sunday talk shows, insisting the war is going as planned.
We are now joined by Scott Ritter who has predicted the U.S. will lose the war.
- Scott Ritter, former weapons inspector and US marine. In a recent interview on Irish radio he warned the US will lose the war with Iraq. Ritter said: "We find ourselves... facing a nation of 23 million, with armed elements numbering around 7 million —who are concentrated at urban areas. We will not win this fight. America will loose this war."