The Rumsfeld Memo

It’ll be interesting to see how the hard-core apologists for the Iraq war at the RTD and elsewhere try to process/rationalize outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s memorandum, published today by The New York Times, on future policy options in Iraq. The memo is the clearest evidence yet that the people who have been in charge of this war have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

As Boston University’s Andrew Bacevich points out in a Washington Post article about the memo, the brief is simply a “laundry list” of future possible actions, with no serious analysis of the pros and cons of each or how the various strategies might work together. As Bacevich puts it, “The memo is a tacit admission of desperation and of impending failure.”

Bacevich, a retired Army colonel and author of the superb The New American Militarism, will be in the Richmond area at the end of January to give a talk on democracy and the military at UR.

For what it’s worth, perhaps the most intriguing suggestion in Rumsfeld’s memo is that of a massive program to combat unemployment among Iraqi youth, overseen by the U.S. military. Don’t expect President Bush to rush to embrace that suggestion, however much pragmatic sense it might make. The idea of a massive government program to actually provide jobs in a direct way flies in the face of free market ideology, and if the initiative worked people might begin to ask questions about why we can’t do the same thing at home.

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Published in: on December 3, 2006 at 7:47 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I blogged on this too about a week ago. I think it’s absolutely PATHETIC that Rumsfeld thinks the Bush administration needs to essentially “dumb down” Americans by lowering their expectations in Iraq, almost as if to “trick” them into thinking we achieved victory – when in reality, we may NEVER achieve all the original plans (if you want to call them that) for Iraq.


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