Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Senator Hagel Lacks Confidence in Rumsfeld

Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator from Nebraska, is not pleased with Rumsfeld. From Nebraska's Journal Star (thanks to The Huffington Post):
Sen. Chuck Hagel said Monday he shares the lack of confidence in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld separately voiced by six retired generals.

“The concern I’ve had is, at a very dangerous time, (the) secretary of defense does not command the respect and confidence of our men and women in uniform,” Hagel said.

“There is a real question about his capacity to lead at this critical time,” he said.

“I have had many conversations with military leaders about their concern about what’s happening at the Pentagon and with our force structure.”

2 Comments:

Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

If you haven't already, you should read David Broder's column on the generals' speaking up, and on Rumsfeld's mismanagement.

He points out how Sens. John McCain and Joe Biden, who've made a dozen or more trips each to Iraq, both repeatedly returned saying officers up and down the line told them they DO NOT have enough troops to complete the mission properly.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

A further thought, one that might explain why Rumsfeld would deliberately underman the Iraq blunder war.

I think conventional wisdom is that Rumsfeld and the Bush White House didn't want to run up the cost. But they've financed the war off budget, pushing it off onto future generations. So that doesn't make much sense.

Another notion is that they want to limit any potential antiwar backlash by involving fewer troops and their families. But with troops being sent back for third and fourth tours in Iraq, that doesn't make much sense. While the number of troops and families is held down, the potential negative reaction among those families is likely to be off the scale, especially the Guard and Reserve types.

Maybe Bush & Co., especially Rove, want to keep the pot boiling indefinitely for what they perceive as political gain. With a war on, voters are less likely to want to change leadership.

Also, Bush and the Republicans have an intense, ongoing flag-waver issue to play up, to beat Democrats up with. This issue provides endless opportunities for Bush, Cheney, GOP senators and representatives to do speaking engagements with troops in the background.

I certainly wouldn't put it past them. If they're about anything, they're about doing anything to win.

11:40 PM  

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