War: January 2004 Archives
Via the BBC:
General Peter Schoomaker said in an interview with AP news agency that the wars had allowed the army to instil its soldiers with a "warrior ethos".
But the general, who became chief of staff in August, denied warmongering saying the army must be ready to fight.
General Schoomaker said the attacks on America in September 2001 and subsequent events had given the US army a rare opportunity to change.
"There is a huge silver lining in this cloud," he said.
"War is a tremendous focus... Now we have this focusing opportunity, and we have the fact that [terrorists] have actually attacked our homeland, which gives it some oomph."
He said it was no use having an army that did nothing but train.
"There's got to be a certain appetite for what the hell we exist for," he said.
"I'm not warmongering, the fact is we're going to be called and really asked to do this stuff."
If we're going to spend $400+ billion on the military, the thinking seems to be we better use it. Lovely.
Given the usual approach of the Bush regime to anyone who questions it, that could be their expected response to this report.
The Iraq invasion was "an unnecessary preventive war of choice" that has robbed resources and attention from the more critical fight against al Qaeda in a hopeless U.S. quest for absolute security, according to a study recently published by the U.S. Army War College.
The 56-page document written by Jeffrey Record, a veteran defense expert who serves as a visiting research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College, represents a blistering assessment of what President Bush calls the U.S. global war on terrorism.
Record urged U.S. leaders to refocus Bush's broad war to target Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, and its allies. Record said the Iraq war was a detour from real anti-terrorism efforts.
Record criticized the Bush administration for lumping together al Qaeda and President Saddam Hussein's Iraq "as a single, undifferentiated terrorist threat."
"This was a strategic error of the first order because it ignored critical differences between the two in character, threat level and susceptibility to U.S. deterrence and military action," Record wrote.
"The result has been an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred Iraq that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al Qaeda," Record wrote.
This also seems like a good time to point out a story that most people seemed to have missed, since very few other news organizations picked it up after the NY Times reported it: U.S. Withdraws a Team of Weapons Hunters From Iraq.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 The Bush administration has quietly withdrawn from Iraq a 400-member military team whose job was to scour the country for military equipment, according to senior government officials.
The step was described by some military officials as a sign that the administration might have lowered its sights and no longer expected to uncover the caches of chemical and biological weapons that the White House cited as a principal reason for going to war last March.
A separate military team that specializes in disposing of chemical and biological weapons remains part of the 1,400-member Iraq Survey Group, which has been searching Iraq for more that seven months at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. But that team is "still waiting for something to dispose of," said a survey group member.
Here is one of the scary drawings that Bush-backers claim was part of Iraq's WMD program:
As you've probably noticed, I'm not posting much political stuff lately. It's all too absurd to write about. I just want to laugh or hide my head under a pillow.