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    Default Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

    Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out
    April 10, 2006

    WASHINGTON, April 9 The three-star Marine Corps general who was the military's top operations officer before the invasion of Iraq expressed regret, in an essay published Sunday, that he did not more energetically question those who had ordered the nation to war. He also urged active-duty officers to speak out now if they had doubts about the war.

    Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who retired in late 2002, also called for replacing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and "many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach." He is the third retired senior officer in recent weeks to demand that Mr. Rumsfeld step down.

    In the essay, in this week's issue of Time magazine, General Newbold wrote, "I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat Al Qaeda."

    The decision to invade Iraq, he wrote, "was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions or bury the results."

    Though some active-duty officers will say in private that they disagree with Mr. Rumsfeld's handling of Iraq, none have spoken out publicly. They attribute their silence to respect for civilian control of the military, as set in the Constitution but some also say they know it would be professional suicide to speak up.

    "The officer corps is willing to sacrifice their lives for their country, but not their careers," said one combat veteran who says the Pentagon's civilian leadership made serious mistakes in Iraq, but has declined to voice his concerns for attribution.

    Many officers who served in Iraq also say privately that regardless of flawed war planning or early mistakes by civilian and military officers, the American public would hold the current officer corps responsible for failure in Iraq. These officers do not want to discuss doubts about the mission publicly now. General Newbold acknowledged these issues, saying he decided to go public only after "the encouragement of some still in positions of military leadership" and in order to "offer a challenge to those still in uniform."

    A leader's responsibility "is to give voice to those who can't or don't have the opportunity to speak," General Newbold wrote. "Enlisted members of the armed forces swear their oath to those appointed over them; an officer swears an oath not to a person but to the Constitution. The distinction is important."

    General Newbold served as director of operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2000 through the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the war in Afghanistan. He left military service in late 2002, as the Defense Department was deep into planning for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    "I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11's tragedy to hijack our security policy," General Newbold wrote.

    His generation of officers thought it had learned from Vietnam that "we must never again stand by quietly while those ignorant of and casual about war lead us into another one and then mismanage the conduct of it," General Newbold wrote.

    The "consequence of the military's quiescence" in the current environment, he wrote, "was that a fundamentally flawed plan was executed for an invented war, while pursuing the real enemy, Al Qaeda, became a secondary effort."

    A senior Pentagon official on Mr. Rumsfeld's staff said Sunday that the Pentagon leadership provided ample opportunity for senior officers to voice concerns.

    "It is hard for the secretary and the rest of the policy leadership to understand the situation if they are not getting good, unvarnished advice from military commanders," the civilian official said.

    While General Newbold said he did not accept the rationale for invading Iraq, he wrote that "a precipitous withdrawal would be a mistake" because it would tell the nation's adversaries that "America can be defeated, and thus increase the chances of future conflicts."

    General Newbold's essay follows one on March 19, by another retired officer, Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, who commanded the training of Iraqi security forces in the year after Baghdad fell. General Eaton wrote an Op-Ed article in The New York Times criticizing Mr. Rumsfeld's management of the war, adding, "President Bush should accept the offer to resign that Mr. Rumsfeld says he has tendered more than once."

    When asked about that essay, President Bush rejected the call to dismiss Mr. Rumsfeld, repeating as he often has that he was satisfied with Mr. Rumsfeld's performance.

    On April 2, Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, who previously led the military's Central Command, responsible for operations in the Middle East, said in a television interview that Mr. Rumsfeld, among others, should be held accountable for mistakes in Iraq and that he should step down.

    General Newbold has been quoted previously describing his concerns about Iraq planning, including in "Cobra II," a book by Michael R. Gordon, chief military correspondent for The New York Times, and Bernard E. Trainor, a retired Marine lieutenant general who is a former military correspondent for the newspaper. In the book General Newbold is described telling fellow officers that he considered the focus on Iraq to be a strategic blunder and a distraction from the real counterterror effort. He is also quoted as expressing concern about Mr. Rumsfeld's influence on war planning, in particular his emphasis on assigning fewer troops to the invasion.


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    Default Re: Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

    Retired General Calls Times Crucial

    Retired Army Gen. Carl W. Stiner minced no words about the need for the United States continued presence in Iraq at the annual Lincoln Day dinner Friday.

    ``We're facing the most crucial time in the nation that I've seen in my lifetime,'' said the veteran, who added that the war on terrorism began long before 9-11.

    Stiner, who was introduced by U.S. Rep. James J. Duncan Jr., spoke in a packed William Blount High School cafeteria. The fund-raising dinner was hosted by the Blount County Republican Party.

    Stiner maintains that the global war on terrorism, which he said has been renamed the Long War, began not with 9-11, but actually in 1979 with the taking of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

    He cited the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988, the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000 as further acts of terrorism leading to 9-11.

    ``All were carried out by Muslim extremists,'' he said.

    Stiner does not lay the blame for these acts of terrorism at the feet of any president or political party in the United States. He said that it is the extremists who are responsible, and that there are between 39 to 52 million of them who are, as he put it, ``ready and willing martyrs.''

    ``They have hijacked their own religion,'' he said; ``9-11 was an attack on our freedom and our society. They did it all with 19 men and three airplanes. We should never forget what they were able to do to us on 9-11.''

    He drew a grim picture of what he feels would happen if the U.S. withdrew from Iraq now.

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    Default Rumsfeld critics off base: ex-military chief

    Rumsfeld critics off base: ex-military chief

    Sat Apr 15, 3:40 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Calls from a growing number of retired US generals for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign over his handling of the Iraq war are inappropriate, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said on Saturday.

    Six former generals, joined on Saturday by former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark, have spoken out against Rumsfeld, accusing him of arrogance, ignoring his field commanders and micromanagement. The calls come amid growing fears of a civil war in Iraq and slumping approval ratings for President George W. Bush.

    "I don't think it's our place in the military either in uniform or when you retire to make those judgments. That's not the military's role. They certainly can. It's their right to do that, I just think it's inappropriate," Myers told Fox News.

    Clark, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, disagreed with Myers.

    "It's more than appropriate, it's their responsibility," he told Fox news. "I believe Rumsfeld hasn't done an adequate job. He should go."

    Bush took time out from his Easter holiday on Friday to express support for Rumsfeld and to counter the growing chorus calling for him to step down.

    "Secretary Rumsfeld's energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period. He has my full support and deepest appreciation," Bush said in a statement.

    Rumsfeld dismissed the resignation calls in an interview with Al Arabiya television aired on Friday. "Out of thousands and thousands of admirals and generals, if every time two or three people disagreed we changed the secretary of defense of the United States it would be like a merry-go-round," he said.

    Clark said Rumsfeld's failure to heed the advice of senior officers was a major complaint and that the disaffection extends beyond the generals who have spoken out.

    "Now these officers are saying at least give us somebody in the military chain of command who will listen. That's why Secretary Rumsfeld has lost their confidence. He's made bad policy choices. It's time for new leadership."

    Myers, who retired last year, said he never heard the complaints being expressed against Rumsfeld during the four years he spent as America's highest-ranking military officer.

    "What I'm hearing now I never heard as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Myers said.

    He said a shake-up led by Rumsfeld to make the Pentagon a more flexible organization could be one of the reasons for the disenchantment among the former senior officers.

    One early US newspaper editorial dismissed the White House effort to save Rumsfeld's job.

    "The ritual White House public relations offensive is wearing thin, especially when the people calling for Rumsfeld's resignation this time wore so many stars on their uniforms," the St. Petersburg Times said in an editorial on Saturday.

    "The damage in Iraq is already done, but his (Rumsfeld's) continued tenure is now threatening to harm and politicize the military," it said.

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    Default Pentagon issues memo to counter critics

    Pentagon issues memo to counter critics Sun Apr 16, 8:30 AM ET

    The US Defense Department has issued a memorandum to former military commanders and civilian analysts that offers a direct challenge to the criticism made by retired generals about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    The newspaper said the one-page memorandum was sent by e-mail to the group, which includes several retired generals who appear regularly on television, and came as the Bush administration stepped up its own defense of Rumsfeld.

    The memorandum begins by stating, "US senior military leaders are involved to an unprecedented degree in every decision-making process in the Department of Defense," the paper quotes the document as saying.

    It says Rumsfeld has had 139 meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff since the start of 2005 and 208 meetings with the senior field commanders, the New York Times reported Sunday.

    Seeking to put the criticism of the relatively small number of retired generals into context, the e-mail message also notes that there are more than 8,000 active-duty and retired general officers alive today, The Times pointed out.

    The message was released Friday by the Pentagon's office of the Directorate for Programs and Community Relations and Public Liaison, but it was unclear who wrote it, according to the report.

    It is not uncommon for the Pentagon to send such memorandums to this group of officers, whom they consider to be influential in shaping public opinion, The Times said.

    But it is unusual for the Pentagon to issue guidance that can be used by retired generals to rebut the arguments of other retired generals.

    The memorandum followed criticism of Rumsfeld by at least six retired generals, who accused his of making mistakes in Iraq and failing to heed sound advice.

    The document spoke directly to the thrust of the retired generals' complaints that Rumsfeld was a "micromanager" who often ignored the advice of military commanders, the paper noted.

    The group that received the message was made up of both staunch Bush administration supporters and some who have been critical of administration policies, The Times said.

    They are brought in periodically to consult with Pentagon officials and were notified on Friday that Rumsfeld wanted to meet with them this Tuesday, the report said.

    Copyright 2006 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AFP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Agence France Presse.

    Copyright 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.


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    Default Re: Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

    Rumsfeld says of latest flap: 'This too will pass' 1 hour, 46 minutes ago

    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed confidence on Monday that the controversy over retired generals demanding his resignation will pass, and the White House emphasized its support for him.

    Six retired generals, including two who commanded Army divisions in Iraq and one who headed efforts to train Iraqi security forces, have sharply criticized Rumsfeld, saying he disregarded military advice and ruled by intimidation.

    "Well, you know, this, too, will pass," Rumsfeld said in a radio interview on Monday when asked about the retired generals and the news media attention given to their criticism.

    Rumsfeld also thanked retired generals who defended him in recent days, including Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, who until last year was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Gen. Tommy Franks, the former Central Command chief. Myers asserted that it is not appropriate for uniformed military officers to issue public criticism of civilian leaders.

    "There's always two sides to these things, and the sharper the criticism comes sometimes the sharper the defense comes from people who don't agree with the critics," Rumsfeld told "The Rush Limbaugh Show."

    President George W. Bush on Friday gave Rumsfeld an emphatic vote of confidence, saying that the 73-year-old Pentagon chief's "energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period," and that he "has my full support and deepest appreciation."

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said on Monday, "There are many challenges that we face, and the president has tasked Secretary Rumsfeld and our commanders to meet those challenges, and they are meeting those challenges."

    Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said Rumsfeld was scheduled to meet on Tuesday with a group of defense analysts and military commentators who regularly appear on news programs, and that U.S. commanders in Iraq also would take part by teleconference.

    Whitman did not identify which analysts and commentators would be involved, but said 12 to 15 usually attend such sessions.

    The Pentagon has held these kinds of meetings with analysts and commentators whose views often are in the media, and in the past has flown some to Iraq.

    Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

    Copyright 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Default Re: Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out

    All retired generals.

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