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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Whom Hack Would Sack 

We are starting to think that perhaps Mr. Bush should not rely on an endorsement from Col. David H. Hackworth (USA ret.):
Since our commander-in-chief announced “mission accomplished” on May 1, 2003, the insurgents have seized the initiative in Iraq. And we’re also not winning the even-more-consequential worldwide battle against the Islamic jihadists. All because our forces are trying to do too much with too little the wrong way.

Lately, I’ve been shoveling through literally truckloads of reader queries along the lines of “OK, Hack, you spent most of the past two years griping, so what’s your solution?” It’s a question that needs an answer. So, as a long-term student of insurgent warfare and a soldier who’s fought guerrillas in post-World-War-II Italy, during the Korean War and for more than four years in Vietnam, here’s what I would do:

* Immediately fire SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, all of his Pentagon senior civilian assistants and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers.

* Replace Rumsfeld with retired Gen. Anthony Zinni and give this tough, smart, proven leader a free hand to bring in the best people to reshape and streamline our armed forces for the long counterinsurgency fight ahead.

* Fire National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and replace her with retired Gens. Wes Clark or John Sheehan.

* Establish a military objective – an often-neglected Principle of War – that will include: how the U.S. is going to regain the lost initiative (another neglected Principle of War) and how we’re going to take and hold the turf seized by insurgents; how we will then win the Iraqi people to our side in the fight against the insurgents; how the nascent Iraqi defense shield will eventually replace our forces; and a detailed, coherent exit plan . . . .

* Double and then triple the size of our forces in Afghanistan – or we’ll soon be following in the Soviets’ loser boot-steps. This is one of the main events in our global fight with insurgents and should receive top priority . . . .

* Reduce or scrap most of the multibillion-dollar porker programs such as Star Wars II, and spike orders for platinum-plated Cold War II ships and aircraft. Then use the funds to arm and equip our warriors appropriately.

* Make every military leader from buck sergeant to four-star memorize Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and Imperial Hubris, by “Anonymous.”
We would perhaps add Christopher Logue's four-volume sequence beginning with War Music and ending with All Day Permanent Red, but then Hack has his priorities and we have ours.

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