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SnakebyteXX
12-16-2004, 08:42 AM
By William Kristol
Wednesday, December 15, 2004; Page A33

"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

-- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,




Actually, we have a pretty terrific Army. It's performed a lot better in this war than the secretary of defense has. President Bush has nonetheless decided to stick for now with the defense secretary we have, perhaps because he doesn't want to make a change until after the Jan. 30 Iraqi elections. But surely Don Rumsfeld is not the defense secretary Bush should want to have for the remainder of his second term.

Contrast the magnificent performance of our soldiers with the arrogant buck-passing of Rumsfeld. Begin with the rest of his answer to Spec. Thomas Wilson of the Tennessee Army National Guard:

"Since the Iraq conflict began, the Army has been pressing ahead to produce the armor necessary at a rate that they believe -- it's a greatly expanded rate from what existed previously, but a rate that they believe is the rate that is all that can be accomplished at this moment. I can assure you that General Schoomaker and the leadership in the Army and certainly General Whitcomb are sensitive to the fact that not every vehicle has the degree of armor that would be desirable for it to have, but that they're working at it at a good clip."

So the Army is in charge. "They" are working at it. Rumsfeld? He happens to hang out in the same building: "I've talked a great deal about this with a team of people who've been working on it hard at the Pentagon. . . . And that is what the Army has been working on." Not "that is what we have been working on." Rather, "that is what the Army has been working on." The buck stops with the Army.

At least the topic of those conversations in the Pentagon isn't boring. Indeed, Rumsfeld assured the troops who have been cobbling together their own armor, "It's interesting." In fact, "if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored humvee and it can be blown up." Good point. Why have armor at all? Incidentally, can you imagine if John Kerry had made such a statement a couple of months ago? It would have been (rightly) a topic of scorn and derision among my fellow conservatives, and not just among conservatives.

Perhaps Rumsfeld simply had a bad day. But then, what about his statement earlier last week, when asked about troop levels? "The big debate about the number of troops is one of those things that's really out of my control." Really? Well, "the number of troops we had for the invasion was the number of troops that General Franks and General Abizaid wanted."

Leave aside the fact that the issue is not "the number of troops we had for the invasion" but rather the number of troops we have had for postwar stabilization. Leave aside the fact that Gen. Tommy Franks had projected that he would need a quarter-million troops on the ground for that task -- and that his civilian superiors had mistakenly promised him that tens of thousands of international troops would be available. Leave aside the fact that Rumsfeld has only grudgingly and belatedly been willing to adjust even a little bit to realities on the ground since April 2003. And leave aside the fact that if our generals have been under pressure not to request more troops in Iraq for fear of stretching the military too thin, this is a consequence of Rumsfeld's refusal to increase the size of the military after Sept. 11.

In any case, decisions on troop levels in the American system of government are not made by any general or set of generals but by the civilian leadership of the war effort. Rumsfeld acknowledged this last week, after a fashion: "I mean, everyone likes to assign responsibility to the top person and I guess that's fine." Except he fails to take responsibility.

All defense secretaries in wartime have, needless to say, made misjudgments. Some have stubbornly persisted in their misjudgments. But have any so breezily dodged responsibility and so glibly passed the buck?

In Sunday's New York Times, John F. Burns quoted from the weekly letter to the families of his troops by Lt. Col. Mark A. Smith, an Indiana state trooper who now commands the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, stationed just south of Baghdad:

"Ask yourself, how in a land of extremes, during times of insanity, constantly barraged by violence, and living in conditions comparable to the stone ages, your marines can maintain their positive attitude, their high spirit, and their abundance of compassion?" Col. Smith's answer: "They defend a nation unique in all of history: One of principle, not personality; one of the rule of law, not landed gentry; one where rights matter, not privilege or religion or color or creed. . . . They are United States Marines, representing all that is best in soldierly virtues."

These soldiers deserve a better defense secretary than the one we have.

The writer is editor of the Weekly Standard.

Link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A132-2004Dec14.html)

Barbara
12-16-2004, 09:44 AM
Bush needs a wartime consigliere. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Barbara

SnakebyteXX
12-16-2004, 08:23 PM
Lott says Rumsfeld not the right leader for Department of Defense

Associated Press


BILOXI, Miss. - U.S. Sen. Trent Lott says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be replaced sometime in the next year.

"I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott, R-Miss., told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce. "I don't think he listens enough to his uniformed officers."

Rumsfeld has been criticized since a soldier asked him last week why the combat vehicles used in the war in Iraq don't have the proper armor. Both Rumsfeld and President Bush have said more vehicle armor will be shipped to Iraq.

Lott, speaking to the civic club Wednesday, said the United States needs more troops to help with the war and a plan to leave Iraq once elections take place in late January. Lott doesn't think Rumsfeld is the person to carry out that plan.

"I would like to see a change in that slot in the next year or so," Lott said. "I'm not calling for his resignation, but I think we do need a change at some point."


Link (http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/state/10432018.htm)

Gayle in MD
12-20-2004, 11:47 AM
Thank you for the link. Amazing how this administration fails to accept responsibility for this whole mess and the imcompetence displayed by Bush and his whole bunch of lieing right-wing war mongers who have brought ignorant stubborness to a whole new level.


Where is Bin Ladden?

Gayle in Md.

SnakebyteXX
12-20-2004, 11:58 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Where is Bin Ladden? <hr /></blockquote>

Top of FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted' List:

USAMA BIN LADEN

MURDER OF U.S. NATIONALS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES; CONSPIRACY TO MURDER U.S. NATIONALS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES; ATTACK ON A FEDERAL FACILITY RESULTING IN DEATH


USAMA BIN LADEN

Aliases: Usama Bin Muhammad Bin Ladin, Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, the Prince, the Emir, Abu Abdallah, Mujahid Shaykh, Hajj, the Director




DESCRIPTION


Date of Birth: 1957 Hair: Brown
Place of Birth: Saudi Arabia Eyes: Brown
Height: 6' 4" to 6' 6" Complexion: Olive
Weight: Approximately 160 pounds Sex: Male
Build: Thin Nationality: Saudi Arabian
Occupation: Unknown
Remarks: Bin Laden is the leader of a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda, "The Base". He is left-handed and walks with a cane.
Scars and Marks: None



CAUTION

USAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION, BIN LADEN IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.


CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS


IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS PERSON, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.


REWARD

The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden. An additional $2 million is being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.


June 1999
Poster Revised November 2001

Ten Most Wanted (http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/topten/fugitives/laden.pdf)

Ross
12-20-2004, 01:20 PM
It is interesting that the conservative Kristol is making the same point that I was trying to make in the other thread about this. Rather than acknowledging and learning from missteps made in the planning for rebuilding Iraq, he continues to shift blame or claim that there is "nothing to be done."

There are some great quotes in this article that capture the essence of Rumsfeld.

Want to sound like you are taking responsibility while not really doing so? Then try his line: "I mean, everyone likes to assign responsibility to the top person and I guess that's fine." Classic.

How about:
"The big debate about the number of troops is one of those things that's really out of my control."

The debate is out of his control??? He is supposed to be LEADING the debate. But I think his subtext is his usual - "well there is nothing to be done".

Or this one:
"It's interesting." In fact, "if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored humvee and it can be blown up."

hmmmm..."interesting" is it? And what does the fact that uparmored humvees can be blown up have to do with anything? The issue is whether we are getting our troops into the safest vehicles as possible as quickly as humanly possible, not whether we can give them 100% protection.

Rummy should go after the elections, but I doubt he will.

highsea
12-20-2004, 01:32 PM
Just curious, Ross. Did you read the transcript of Rumsfeld's meeting with the soldiers?

eg8r
12-20-2004, 01:59 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Where is Bin Ladden?
<hr /></blockquote> He is on the run.

Under your administration he was making plans for 9/11.

eg8r

SecaucusFats
12-20-2004, 04:48 PM
Rumsfeld Failed to Lick Stamps on GI Death Letters
scrappleface.com ^ | 2004-12-20 | Scott Ott

Forensic DNA testing has revealed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not personally lick postage stamps on letters to families of troops killed in Iraq.

"We're still looking for a positive DNA match on the stamp saliva," said an aide to Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE. "We've asked to swab the cheeks of dozens of Pentagon office staffers."

This new evidence of Mr. Rumsfeld's psychological detachment from the war in Iraq follows his admission that letters he wrote to families of soldiers and Marines included a facsimile of his signature, rather than a unique one done with his own hand each time.

Mr. Hagel could not be reached for comment, the aide said, because "the senator is busy handwriting a news release on the topic."

SF

Gayle in MD
12-20-2004, 04:52 PM
WRONG ED, Under the Bush administration, Under the Bush administration, READ the book!

Gayle

Wally_in_Cincy
12-21-2004, 06:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> Where is Bin Ladden?
<hr /></blockquote> He is on the run.

Under your administration he was making plans for 9/11.

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> WRONG ED, Under the Bush administration, Under the Bush administration, READ the book!

Gayle <hr /></blockquote>

Gayle, I suspect the planning for 9/11 began before Jan. 20, 2001.

Clinton had at least 2 chances to arrest OBL but he was afraid that would not meet the approval of the UN.

eg8r
12-21-2004, 06:28 AM
[ QUOTE ]
WRONG ED, Under the Bush administration, Under the Bush administration, READ the book!
<hr /></blockquote> This is getting a bit old, I think you might want to spend a little time in reality and jump out of the pj's and quit reading all these liberal books.

If you are incapable of believing the fact that bin laden is on the run, then prove it. If you are incapable of believing the fact that these plans began while your buddy was in office, then you are so clouded in your fantasy world that nothing will help. Keeping drinking the koolaid, sit by the fire, kick those feet up and read another liberal book.

eg8r

hondo
12-21-2004, 07:12 AM
A classic egism by SF. Make a joke about licking
the stamps rather than talking about his signature.
I hate those form letters at Christmas. I'd hate to
think how I'd feel if I got a form letter about
my son's death.



<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> Rumsfeld Failed to Lick Stamps on GI Death Letters
scrappleface.com ^ | 2004-12-20 | Scott Ott

Forensic DNA testing has revealed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not personally lick postage stamps on letters to families of troops killed in Iraq.

"We're still looking for a positive DNA match on the stamp saliva," said an aide to Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE. "We've asked to swab the cheeks of dozens of Pentagon office staffers."

This new evidence of Mr. Rumsfeld's psychological detachment from the war in Iraq follows his admission that letters he wrote to families of soldiers and Marines included a facsimile of his signature, rather than a unique one done with his own hand each time.

Mr. Hagel could not be reached for comment, the aide said, because "the senator is busy handwriting a news release on the topic."

SF


<hr /></blockquote>

Singlemalt
12-21-2004, 08:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> WRONG ED, Under the Bush administration, Under the Bush administration, READ the book!

Gayle <hr /></blockquote>

I have read the books and it spoke of those type of operations were years (2-3) in planning before they are implemented. Do the math?

Have you read the books or just chosen to take your own interpretation by guessing?

Gayle in MD
12-21-2004, 11:04 AM
Wally,
That is true.
You might want to read my post directed to our or so intelligent threesome (Ed, SF, and Chopstick) in the other thread.
Gayle

Chopstick
12-21-2004, 11:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> WRONG ED, Under the Bush administration, Under the Bush administration, READ the book!

Gayle <hr /></blockquote>
He doesn't have to read the book. It's a matter of public record. This was in 1996. Three years after he blew up the Trade Center the first time.

Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize
By MANSOOR IJAZ

President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.

I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities.

From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger and Sudan's president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of Bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
Link (http://http://www.infowars.com/saved%20pages/Prior_Knowledge/Clinton_let_bin_laden.htm)

On Aug. 20, 1998, Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks on suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.
<font color="green">$30 million dollars worth of missles to blow up $17 dollars worth of tents. How'd that work out? </font color>

How about this book? Losing Bin Laden: How Bill CLinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror by Richard Miniter

A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: The Clinton administration treated bin Laden as a law enforcement problem. Bob Kerry, a former senator and current 9/11 commission member, said, “The most important thing the Clinton administration could have done would have been for the president, either himself or by going to Congress, asking for a congressional declaration to declare war on al-Qaida, a military-political organization that had declared war on us.”
Link (http://http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4540958/)

Qtec
12-21-2004, 12:11 PM
Do they know the identities of all the bombers?

Q

Gayle in MD
12-21-2004, 12:27 PM
While this may all be true, it still doesn't let Bush off the hook for the months that he was at the helm, and chose to ignore the many warnings he had once the "Chatter" and intelligence became urgent regarding an impending attack.

Gayle in Md.

Ross
12-21-2004, 12:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> Just curious, Ross. Did you read the transcript of Rumsfeld's meeting with the soldiers? <hr /></blockquote>

I have now Highsea - thanks for pushing me to do it. And I agree with you that this is important because it is a simple matter to make anyone look stupid or evil if you just cherry pick a sentence or two taken out of context.

My impressions after reading it? Mixed actually.

He said some good things about what we are doing and why. I like the way he provided historical context, especially for particular units and divisions. And the fact that he took the time to learn some specifics about the different units likely made them feel more appreciated. I'm sure the first prepared part of his speech helped the troops morale.

Reading the transcript also is a reminder that what is going to be in the news will only be the controversial parts of his talk, not the rest. But I'm not sure how you fix that. (I can see a press report: "Rumsfeld says a lot of good things in his speech to the troops". Papers from very small towns like I grew up in do that - report the non-sensational good news like "Town get beutification award" or "Mayor gives inspiring speech", but it is generally veiwed as boosterism more than news. If you can come up with a solution how a news media could give a more balanced view of the world, retain credibility, continue its vital role as muckracker, and keep readers let me know. Maybe you and I could start up our own alternative media outlet? )

Back to his talk. I think most of the soldiers who asked questions didn't really get real answers to their questions but that is not entirely Rumsfeld's fault. Some were too specific for that forum (like "why can a single parent not join the army but can be deployed as a member of the Guard?"), others we don't have an answer to (What happens after the elections?), others were given the best sounding answers possible (emphasizing recent pay raises in response to the question about why the Guard has poorer benefits than the regulars). He was misleading at times (we have a real coalition), wrong at times (he thought armored humvees plants were working at max capacity, not his fault for being wrong, but he should acknowledge the mistake now), and denied the premise of the question at times (why are NG facing equipment shortages and getting the crappiest equipment).

There also was a bit of flippancy and condescension at serious questions that is his trademark - the single parent question he turned into a rah-rah answer (yay to you soldier for wanting to join) and the question about benefits for NGs he first kind of chided the soldier for thinking about retirement at his young age, and of course the quote about how you go to "war with the army you have". The last quote would be appropriate for a sergeant talking to a continually whining soldier under his command, but not a good thing for the Secretary of Defense to say to to troops in general. Especially after a question about why they don't have more life saving armor.

So, as I say, reading the transcript shows that Rumsfeld has good traits and bad traits, that mainly the worst of Rumsfeld is highlighted in the papers, but also that the traits of condescension and flippancy being highlighted are real problems for the guy.

Anyway, that's my impression.

Gayle in MD
12-21-2004, 01:01 PM
Good post Ross,
I suppose one could say that if Rumsfeld really "Cared" about our troops, he might have atleast taken the time to sign the letters to the loved ones of those who have given their lives in this war, rather than using a signing machine.
Gayle in Md.

Chopstick
12-21-2004, 01:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> While this may all be true, it still doesn't let Bush off the hook for the months that he was at the helm, and chose to ignore the many warnings he had once the "Chatter" and intelligence became urgent regarding an impending attack.

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>
I agree that he shouldn't be let off the hook, although not for the reasons you might think. He made mistakes that you haven't found. I'm not sure how this got missed. It's out there if you dig around.

highsea
12-21-2004, 01:47 PM
Well, I'm glad you read it Ross.

Rumsfeld is the first SECDEF ever to hold these "town hall" meetings with the troops. The fact that he is willing to do that, and makes no rules or attempts to screen the questions, etc. means a lot to them. He hung around for 2 1/2 hours afterwards, talking to the soldiers one-on-one and posing for individual pictures with the troops. It was a big morale boost for those guys. Every account I've read by the people who were there reads nothing like the stories in the paper.

I don't fault the guardsman who asked about the armor, he probably didn't expect to be in Kuwait prepping convoys when he signed up with the Tennessee NG. There are some active duty guys I know that are not happy with the guard soldier. One Master Seargeant I know in Spec Ops Comnmand in Florida was pretty PO'd. He felt that the soldier was telegraphing a weakness to the opposition, and endangering the convoys.

I agree with the Army's position that when materials are in short supply and high demand, they need to go to the guys that are doing the actual door-kicking and trigger pulling before the rear echelons are kitted out. I think Rumsfeld could have done a better job of explaining that to the guys in Kuwait.

eg8r
12-21-2004, 02:09 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I suppose one could say that if Rumsfeld really "Cared" about our troops, he might have atleast taken the time to sign the letters to the loved ones of those who have given their lives in this war, rather than using a signing machine. <hr /></blockquote> No one has asked, so I will be the goat. Is this unprecedented?

Have all previous Defense Secretaries personally signed every single letter that went out?

If the previous question is a resounding yes, then when did they have time to deal with the war at hand?

If the first question is a resounding yes, how quickly were they delivered?

If the first question was a resounding yes, did the DS have this much scrutiny in the media to contend with along with actually running the war?

If you cannot answer the quetions, the best bet would be to drop it. It is blatantly evident your intent is not honest but rather all you care about is whittling down the men one by one.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
12-21-2004, 02:30 PM
The plans were around for years, the urgent warnings of impending attack happened during the Bush administration.

Which books have you read?

Gayle in Md.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-21-2004, 02:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> The plans were around for years, the urgent warnings of impending attack happened during the Bush administration.

Which books have you read?

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Urgent warnings of impending attack? Were the following incidents urgent warnings of impending attack?

USS Cole?
Khobar Towers?
2 embassies in Africa?

all under Clinton. Why did he not do anything about it?

eg8r
12-21-2004, 03:15 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Urgent warnings of impending attack? Were the following incidents urgent warnings of impending attack?

USS Cole?
Khobar Towers?
2 embassies in Africa? <hr /></blockquote> Sorry Wally, but I guess you are not understanding Gayle. Clarke never did anything wrong, only Bush. The only person ever responsible is Bush. So, somehow it was Bush's fault those urgent warnings of impending attacks were missed.

Or...Clarke would say they never had any urgent warnings back then. The urgent warning alert was not installed until after Bush was became President. Prior to that it was a giant crapshoot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

Ross
12-21-2004, 05:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> Well, I'm glad you read it Ross.

Rumsfeld is the first SECDEF ever to hold these "town hall" meetings with the troops. The fact that he is willing to do that, and makes no rules or attempts to screen the questions, etc. means a lot to them. He hung around for 2 1/2 hours afterwards, talking to the soldiers one-on-one and posing for individual pictures with the troops. It was a big morale boost for those guys. Every account I've read by the people who were there reads nothing like the stories in the paper.

<font color="blue">
I give Rumsfeld all the credit in the world for going and talking to the troops and especially for hanging around afterward, taking pictures, etc.

As far as the first SOD to do "town hall meetings" I do know that Cohen visited US troops and in Japan, Australia, Korea, Kosovo, and Egypt. These visits were designed to boost morale and he also took questions from the troops. And this was during times where we weren't in any protracted wars. In fact I cannot imagine ANY SOD not visiting the troops during active wars. Didn't McNamara and others do so during the Vietnam era?

Were these visits different from Rumsfeld's town hall meetings? Not being sarcastic - genuinely asking. </font color>

I don't fault the guardsman who asked about the armor, he probably didn't expect to be in Kuwait prepping convoys when he signed up with the Tennessee NG. There are some active duty guys I know that are not happy with the guard soldier. One Master Seargeant I know in Spec Ops Comnmand in Florida was pretty PO'd. He felt that the soldier was telegraphing a weakness to the opposition, and endangering the convoys.

<font color="blue">Obviously talking publicly about any problems in the military is two-edged. On the one hand it might give the enemy hope or useful info. On the other the bright shining light of media attention is often a great motivator to get bureacracies moving to solve problems or solve them more quickly.

In this case I think that the Iraqi insurgents already knew that the US humvees and trucks were vulnerable to attack. I don't see them coming out with much they could use from that. Also I think the cheering that went up from the troops after the question was asked indicates that they, at least, didn't find the info that compromising. Much more significant in my opinion is this positive outcome for our troops:
</font color>
<font color="red">
Army seeks boost in up-armored Humvee production

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec.11, 2004) – An additional 100 up-armored Humvees per month could soon be heading to Iraq, according to Army officials.
Harvey is looking to modify the Army’s contract with Armor Holdings, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., which currently produces 450 per month of the specialty vehicles, known as UAHs. Robert Mecredy, president of Aerospace and Defense Group for Armor Holdings, told Harvey the company may be able to put out as many as 100 more a month, officials said.

“Once I was informed of the additional production capacity, I wanted to ensure those additional vehicles were going directly to our forces in Iraq,” Harvey said.
An up-armored Humvee has steel-plate doors, ballistic-resistant windows and steel plating underneath the vehicle that offers better protection against bullets, rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devises. The UAH weighs about 3,000 pounds more than the regular version.
...
http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=6646

</font color>

I agree with the Army's position that when materials are in short supply and high demand, they need to go to the guys that are doing the actual door-kicking and trigger pulling before the rear echelons are kitted out. I think Rumsfeld could have done a better job of explaining that to the guys in Kuwait. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">I agree absolutely that the materials should be allocated based on mission not branch of service when possible. I think the Guardsmans point was that he didn't see it as being allocated that way. I think this question might have to do with the NG being used to doing convoy supply runs subject to ambush in trucks that weren't particular fast, reliable, or with much protection, as you had mentioned before. (Like the ones who refused to make a run because they didn't think their vehicles were particularly unsafe). It is an important issue to keep on the front burner. </font color>

Ross
12-21-2004, 05:56 PM
I found this specific information on the events that led to the increased production of armored Humvees (the Friday being referred to is Dec. 10th, with news coverage of the soldier's --or reporter's, if you prefer-- question being Dec. 8th):

On Friday evening, Armor Holdings Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based company that produces and installs armor for Humvees, said it had been contacted by the Army and would boost production to about 550 armored Humvees a month from the current 450. The company's statement came at the end of negotiations that began Friday morning when Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey telephoned Armor Holdings President Robert Schiller.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/la-fg-armor11dec11,0,254363.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Chopstick
12-21-2004, 06:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr>
Or...Clarke would say they never had any urgent warnings back then. The urgent warning alert was not installed until after Bush was became President. Prior to that it was a giant crapshoot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

The only urgent warning he ever got was a memo to himself to write a book before he missed an opportunity to cash in on the blame game.

highsea
12-21-2004, 06:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr>As far as the first SOD to do "town hall meetings" I do know that Cohen visited US troops and in Japan, Australia, Korea, Kosovo, and Egypt. These visits were designed to boost morale and he also took questions from the troops. And this was during times where we weren't in any protracted wars. In fact I cannot imagine ANY SOD not visiting the troops during active wars. Didn't McNamara and others do so during the Vietnam era?

Were these visits different from Rumsfeld's town hall meetings? Not being sarcastic - genuinely asking. </font color><hr /></blockquote>I asked about this. SECDEF's have always visited the troops, but the meetings were structured. From what I have been told (by the Master Sgt. in SOCOM), questions from soldiers were submitted in advance of the visit and approved by the unit commanders. Also, the press was normally not allowed, definitely not in wartime. So Rumsfeld is somewhat unique in the way he takes these meetings with the troops.

This was blogged by a Blackhawk Pilot in Kuwait the day after the meeting:
[ QUOTE ]
I've been sitting through briefings about this visit for the past 6 days- in every case, this visit was billed as a "town hall meeting" in which the SECDEF would open the floor to questions and answer them to the best of his ability- never saw anything that suggested it was supposed to be "friendly" or "peppy." This is nothing new- it's actually something that SECDEF's have been doing for years. When I was a VIP Flight Platoon Leader in Seoul, I picked up Secretary of Defense William Cohen at Osan Airbase, flew him to Seoul Airbase, and watched in stunned disbelief as one of my soldiers asked him why the Clinton Administration thought it was a good idea to keep downsizing the military when deployments like Somalia and the Balkans were "on the up and up." More about that later.

The only thing unusual about this particular "town hall meeting" was the fact that the press was invited. My coworkers and I wondered aloud about the wisdom of this decision, and I still can't really see the logic there. The only thing I can think of is that the SECDEF intended to show that he has nothing to hide- sort of like a "full public disclosure" kind of thing. The problem with this is obvious. When the cameras are rolling and a soldier stands up and asks why the military isn't doing anything to properly equip him for war, guess what happens? That's right- the media machine immediately establishes a new "truth"- in this case it's that the military is not equipping the force. Absolutely no effort is made to fact-check the soldier- his word is taken as pure gospel. Politicians on Capitol Hill start ranting and raving, the pundits weigh in, and the opposition party gleefully waves the "I told you so" banner. All because of one question from a hard-working well-meaning lower enlisted soldier.

SPC Wilson is one of those soldiers who likes to take shots at authority figures. His ex-wife said of him- "It wouldn't matter if it was Bush himself standing there. He would have dissed him the same." This does not mean he's a bad soldier. It does mean that he's probably not a good choice to be an Army spokesperson, which is exactly what he became yesterday. As I mentioned earlier, I had a soldier like him working for me in Korea- the guy who unloaded on SECDEF Cohen for downsizing. I thought it was a fair question- I just wish he would have run his question by me before asking my boss's boss's boss's boss. We had a talk about it- my policy was not unusual, and he was well aware of it- if you have a gripe, ask me about it. If you don't like my answer, then go to the next level. If you feel uncomfortable talking to me, then fine- talk to my boss. Of course he didn't feel uncomfortable talking to me (I'm a pretty nice guy), he just said, "Sorry, Sir- I really don't like the Clintonians. I had an opportunity shot and I took it."

I'm not saying that SPC Wilson has an anti-Bush agenda or anything like that- I think he was probably frustrated about things he either didn't understand or didn't agree with, and just wanted to take a shot. And I can tell you that his platoon leader and everyone else in his chain of command felt betrayed if he didn't voice his complaint to them first- from my experience, I'm guessing he did not.

I have no doubt that one of SPC Wilson's superiors told him to go through a scrap yard to get more vehicle armor. There's nothing wrong with this- resourceful soldiers are always looking to improve on their equipment, weapons, fighting positions, etc. What SPC Wilson might not be aware of (at his level)- is that all vehicles that drive north into Iraq are required to have "level 3" armor protection. If a vehicle does not meet this standard, it will not be driven up north- it will be carried on a flatbed truck. Once in Iraq, armored vehicles are used for driving off post, and unarmored vehicles are used for driving around on post. This policy is put out to each unit's commanders well before the unit even arrives to Kuwait. The leaders are then charged with disseminating this information down to the soldiers. Obviously, this process of "information dissemination" doesn't always happen like it's supposed to- and so we have uninformed soldiers (who think they're going to drive into Iraq in unarmored vehicles) taking shots at our nation's most powerful leaders. It happens all the time, and it's another reason why America is such a unique country. There are many places in this world where a soldier would not survive asking such a question.<hr /></blockquote>
http://2slick.blogspot.com/2004/12/rumsfelds-visit.html

-CM

edit to add: As far as the humvees, that pretty much agrees with what I predicted the other day--In light of the publicity, I had no doubt the order would be placed immediately. But I wonder just what the tradeoff will be to get them in theater. Airlift is finite, so something will have to be left behind (or delayed) to move 100 extra HMMWV's a month. If you knew how busy the airfields in Iraq and Kuwait are, you would understand. I would guess there is an aircraft, either combat or transport, landing every 5-8 minutes (possibly even more), 24/7, on every active airfield that can accept supplies.

Ross
12-21-2004, 08:34 PM
Highsea it is hard to get a straight story here. The blog you cited says things like "Once in Iraq, armored vehicles are used for driving off post, and unarmored vehicles are used for driving around on post." In other words he basically suggests that unarmored vehicles are not being used where there is danger and that it is just the ignorance of the soldiers coming in through Kuwait that makes them worry about the issue.

Contrast that with this quote further down on the same page of that blog:

"I logged well over 1,500 miles driving around Iraq, and I never even saw an "armored" humvee. I didn't complain- mostly because I was well aware that my father never had any armored humvees in Vietnam, and my grandfather certainly didn't have any armored humvees during WWII."

Or contrast that with this from Dec. 10:

"We're kind of sitting ducks in the vehicles we have," said Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Montera, commander of the Long Island, N.Y.-based 310th Military Police Battalion, which has crisscrossed the Iraqi countryside for months in those "soft-top" models.

In the eyes of Alma Hart of Bedford, Mass., her son, John, might have come home after an Oct. 18 ambush if his unit had been driving the armored models. "My son could be alive if he'd had this equipment," she said.

To 26-year-old First Lieutenant Jonathan Pruden of Georgia, not having an armored Humvee meant an attack July 1 cost him 5 inches of bone in his right leg and a left leg at risk of amputation, he believes. "It would have made a huge difference, probably saved my legs," Pruden said.

Montera doesn't expect to get any of the armored models for his unit before his troops come home in the spring, so he's doing what he can to make his soft-sided ones safer. The 310th has been stuffing sandbags onto the floors and hanging flak vests on the doors to add something, anything, for added protection." (http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2003/12/18/troops_seen_vulnerable_in_humvees/)

There also is this:

"It's true. We do not have as many up-armored Humvees as we would like to have in Iraq," the Army vice chief of staff at the time, General John Keane, told a congressional committee in September. "To be honest with you, we just did not expect this level of violence . . . that we are currently dealing with. That's the straight answer."


Also, "armored" includes levels 2 and 3:

"Another 10,000 vehicles have received Level 2 protection, or the installation of add-on armor on existing vehicles. Whitcomb said such work has taken place in Iraq and Kuwait. Whitcomb said Level 2 does not provide protection at the top or bottom of the vehicle."

So I'm assuming these provide very little protection when driving over or next to an IED.

Level 3 (welding on steel plates) is not up to speed either according to Lt. Gen. Steve Whitcomb, commander of the U.S. Third Army,

"Our real focus for the Level 3 armor is not the Humvees," Whitcomb said. "It's really the series of trucks that the army uses in combat operations. We're not doing it in large numbers yet. We're doing it where we can. We're building a capacity to be able to do that more frequently, to refurbish the fleet. But that is an issue."

So which is it? Are all of the vehicles that are used in combat areas or driven over areas that are frequently mined or ambushed armored? Or not?

The blogger you cite seems to say they are, but then lists a quote that says they aren't, a Lieutenant Colonel from the MP says NONE of his vehicles have any armor whatsoever and won't for several months, and the Commander of the 3rd US Army says 2 weeks ago that they don't even have level 3 armour for the majority of the "trucks that the army uses in combat operations."

The other thing you have to read carefully is this often repeated line: "All trucks being driven north into Iraq are armed." Note that this does not say that all trucks driven around in Iraq have any armor (as seen from the quote from Montera). I'm sure MP are not seen as front line soldiers but I'm betting that they have to drive regularly through areas subject to ambushes. There have been deadly ambushes even on the road from Bagdad to the airport for example.

Finally, Highsea neither you nor any of the other conservatives on this board or the conservative military bloggers that I read, have had anything to say about the fact that the Army increased their order for armored humvees by 100 a month two days after this story broke. There are two possibile explanations for this undisputed fact that I see: a) the most likely - press coverage led to information that there was more capacity than previously thought, or b) not likely - it was just a remarkable coincidence.

I don't know how any realistic person could think this was just a coincidence. So why can none of you at least acknowledge that this, at least, was a good outcome that may ultimately save dozens or even 100's of US soldiers from being killed or maimed before this war is over? And how can you not acknowledge that at the deepest level the soldier/reporter was right -- more COULD be done to get armored vehicles to them more quickly.

highsea
12-21-2004, 11:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr> Highsea it is hard to get a straight story here. The blog you cited says things like "Once in Iraq, armored vehicles are used for driving off post, and unarmored vehicles are used for driving around on post." In other words he basically suggests that unarmored vehicles are not being used where there is danger and that it is just the ignorance of the soldiers coming in through Kuwait that makes them worry about the issue.

Contrast that with this quote further down on the same page of that blog:

"I logged well over 1,500 miles driving around Iraq, and I never even saw an "armored" humvee. I didn't complain- mostly because I was well aware that my father never had any armored humvees in Vietnam, and my grandfather certainly didn't have any armored humvees during WWII."<hr /></blockquote>You left out the very next thing he said:
[ QUOTE ]
"As soon as the ground commanders asked for armored humvees, the military industrial complex went into overdrive: Furthermore, Di Rita said, since the Army first identified a need for more armored Humvees, in the fall of 2003, the service “has done just a superb job of turning around a component of industrial base that was doing different things” and turning the manufacturers to making both armored Humvees and armor kits for other vehicles.

At the time, Humvee makers were “producing something on order of 15 armored Humvees per month,” Di Rita said.

Today, that number is 450, he said, with $1.2 billion spent since August 2003 on armor and armored Humvees alone. As a result, “three out of four” Humvees now in Iraq are armored, he said.<hr /></blockquote>2slick doesn't say when he was driving around Iraq. Was it prior to August of 2003? Don't you think that might be relavent to the discussion?
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr>Or contrast that with this from Dec. 10:

"We're kind of sitting ducks in the vehicles we have," said Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Montera, commander of the Long Island, N.Y.-based 310th Military Police Battalion, which has crisscrossed the Iraqi countryside for months in those "soft-top" models.

In the eyes of Alma Hart of Bedford, Mass., her son, John, might have come home after an Oct. 18 ambush if his unit had been driving the armored models. "My son could be alive if he'd had this equipment," she said.

To 26-year-old First Lieutenant Jonathan Pruden of Georgia, not having an armored Humvee meant an attack July 1 cost him 5 inches of bone in his right leg and a left leg at risk of amputation, he believes. "It would have made a huge difference, probably saved my legs," Pruden said.

Montera doesn't expect to get any of the armored models for his unit before his troops come home in the spring, so he's doing what he can to make his soft-sided ones safer. The 310th has been stuffing sandbags onto the floors and hanging flak vests on the doors to add something, anything, for added protection." (http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2003/12/18/troops_seen_vulnerable_in_humvees/)

There also is this:

"It's true. We do not have as many up-armored Humvees as we would like to have in Iraq," the Army vice chief of staff at the time, General John Keane, told a congressional committee in September. "To be honest with you, we just did not expect this level of violence . . . that we are currently dealing with. That's the straight answer."<hr /></blockquote> The problem is you are trying to equate the situation from 2003, and written only 3 or 4 months after the army had identified the problem, with the situation today. And steps were already underway to addresss the issue when that story was written. <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr>Also, "armored" includes levels 2 and 3:

"Another 10,000 vehicles have received Level 2 protection, or the installation of add-on armor on existing vehicles. Whitcomb said such work has taken place in Iraq and Kuwait. Whitcomb said Level 2 does not provide protection at the top or bottom of the vehicle."

So I'm assuming these provide very little protection when driving over or next to an IED.

Level 3 (welding on steel plates) is not up to speed either according to Lt. Gen. Steve Whitcomb, commander of the U.S. Third Army,

"Our real focus for the Level 3 armor is not the Humvees," Whitcomb said. "It's really the series of trucks that the army uses in combat operations. We're not doing it in large numbers yet. We're doing it where we can. We're building a capacity to be able to do that more frequently, to refurbish the fleet. But that is an issue."

So which is it? Are all of the vehicles that are used in combat areas or driven over areas that are frequently mined or ambushed armored? Or not? The blogger you cite seems to say they are, but then lists a quote that says they aren't, a Lieutenant Colonel from the MP says NONE of his vehicles have any armor whatsoever and won't for several months, and the Commander of the 3rd US Army says 2 weeks ago that they don't even have level 3 armour for the majority of the "trucks that the army uses in combat operations."

The other thing you have to read carefully is this often repeated line: "All trucks being driven north into Iraq are armed." Note that this does not say that all trucks driven around in Iraq have any armor (as seen from the quote from Montera). I'm sure MP are not seen as front line soldiers but I'm betting that they have to drive regularly through areas subject to ambushes. There have been deadly ambushes even on the road from Bagdad to the airport for example.<hr /></blockquote>Ross, again, look at the dates. You are mixing up the situation from a year ago and trying to claim that the Army was not doing anything about the problem until after the Rumsfeld visit. It's just not true. It doesn't surprise me that things have changed in the last year. The information from the briefing I linked in the other thread (part of which you quote here) is the best description of the situation as it is today.<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr> Finally, Highsea neither you nor any of the other conservatives on this board or the conservative military bloggers that I read, have had anything to say about the fact that the Army increased their order for armored humvees by 100 a month two days after this story broke. There are two possibile explanations for this undisputed fact that I see: a) the most likely - press coverage led to information that there was more capacity than previously thought, or b) not likely - it was just a remarkable coincidence. <hr /></blockquote>Let me refresh your memory--from my second post on the other thread:
[ QUOTE ]
The statement I read was made prior to Dec. 9. After the hub-bub, they did make the statement to the media that they could up production. Their previous statements were that they were at full production. I am sure they have got the order, regardless if it can fit into the pipeline.<hr /></blockquote>
And from the post you just replied to:
[ QUOTE ]
As far as the humvees, that pretty much agrees with what I predicted the other day--In light of the publicity, I had no doubt the order would be placed immediately. But I wonder just what the tradeoff will be to get them in theater.<hr /></blockquote>To be honest with you Ross, I posted in the other thread to clear up confusion, not add to it. It's awfully exasperating trying to explain this to someone who isn't really interested in the facts. You seem to prefer to believe that Rumsfeld is just an arrogant a$$hole who doesn't give a dam about the troops. When you bring up interviews from a year ago and inject them into the discussion to try to prove your point, it only muddies the water.

This started about HMMWV armor, and the accusation by the left that Rumsfeld and the Army was ignoring the need. I have shown pretty conclusively, I believe, that this was not the case. Are there other areas that need attention also? Yes, undoubtedly there are lots of them. But I don't have the energy to debate every single issue with you.

nhp
12-22-2004, 04:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Where is Bin Ladden?
<hr /></blockquote> He is on the run.

Under your administration he was making plans for 9/11.

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

Damn Clinton! It's all Clinton's fault! Especially when Bush ignored a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States". That was Clinton's fault Bush ignored that! I mean, why else would Bush go on vacation and ignore all of those warning prior to Sept. 11th!? Duh!! Because of Clinton!!

nhp
12-22-2004, 04:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> The plans were around for years, the urgent warnings of impending attack happened during the Bush administration.

Which books have you read?

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Urgent warnings of impending attack? Were the following incidents urgent warnings of impending attack?

USS Cole?
Khobar Towers?
2 embassies in Africa?

all under Clinton. Why did he not do anything about it? <hr /></blockquote>

So are you saying that since Clinton didn't do anything about it, that it's ok for Bush not to do anything about it? Because....Bush didn't do anything about it, before Sept 11th, and even afterwards....(when asked about the whereabouts of Osama, Bush said "I don't know and I don't care").

Oh I get it now. Because evil commie liberal Clinton failed to get Osama, Bush cannot take any responsibility for his shortcommings. Because of Clinton, Bush can do whatever he wants, hell he can even go on vacation in times of crisis and it's all fine and dandy.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-22-2004, 06:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> .... Because of Clinton, Bush can do whatever he wants, hell he can even go on vacation in times of crisis and it's all fine and dandy.

<hr /></blockquote>

The President is never actually on vacation and you know it. Why do people keep bringing that up?

hondo
12-22-2004, 06:28 AM
Because it's true???


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> .... Because of Clinton, Bush can do whatever he wants, hell he can even go on vacation in times of crisis and it's all fine and dandy.

<hr /></blockquote>

The President is never actually on vacation and you know it. Why do people keep bringing that up? <hr /></blockquote>

Ross
12-22-2004, 07:00 AM
Oops you are right Highsea, the Montera quote is from '03. I was googling to try to find out if the claims that no one was riding around in unarmored vehicles in the combat zone were true. I came across this article and looked at the Dec. 10th date and thought it was one of the batch of stories that came out on that day this year.