Sunday, July 12, 2009

# Posted 11:11 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

WILL RUMSFELD APOLOGIZE FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ? McNamara eventually apologized for Vietnam. It took him 28 years. How long before we hear from Rumsfeld?

That's the question posed by Bradley Graham, author of a new book about the previous SecDef.

It's actually a pretty one-sided question, which could easily be met with one-sided answers such "Rumsfeld will apologize right after Obama apologizes for opposing the surge" or "Rumsfeld will apologize as soon as the people of Iraq ask for him to put Saddam back in charge."

In spite of the splashy headline, Graham recognizes that the war in Iraq remains far too politicized for anyone to apologize for anything, since the other side would exploit it mercilessly.

Finally, although the tone of this post is defensive, I'm not a Rumsfeld partisan. I think John McCain was right all along; Rumsfeld never understood the principles of counterinsurgency. Bush should've replaced him much, much earlier. But I think that calls for Rumsfeld to apologize have much more to do with a vindictive desire for humiliation than with a serious interest in fixing the problems Rumsfeld left behind in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
(1) opinions -- Add your opinion

I think your take is about right. The fact is, on the war itself, Rumsfeld was exactly right. But he was the wrong guy for what came next and should have been replaced much sooner. (Ie., there should have been an actual plan for what came next, with a scheduled step down of Rumsfeld and his team with thanks for a job well done as soon as the Iraqi government collapsed.)
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