Monday, June 12, 2006

Cobra II

Andrew Bacevich has a good review of Cobra II : The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq in the London Review of Books. It is critical of the usual suspects -- Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc. He, and the book, also give needed attention to the performance of Tommy Franks:

Rumsfeld's chosen military interlocutor was General Tommy Franks, the commander of United States Central Command. In a bestselling memoir published after his retirement, Franks portrays himself as a 'good old boy' from west Texas who also happens to be a military genius. In Cobra II, he comes across as Rumsfeld's useful idiot: a coarse, not especially bright, kiss-up, kick-down martinet who mistreats his subordinates but keeps his boss happy. Franks knew that he wasn't in charge, but he pretended otherwise. Appreciating the 'political value in being able to stand at the Pentagon podium and say that the Bush administration was implementing the military's plan', Rumsfeld was happy to play along.

Not a Good Day to Die : The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda, about a battle in the war in Afghanistan, was also highly critical of Franks.

I doubt that if Robert E. Lee, Patton and Erwin Rommel all rose from the grave to tell Rummy that his theories and plans were nuts, that he would have listened. But it seems that Franks didn't even see a problem with them.

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