Rumsfeld vs. Obama

Donald Rumsfeld, far for being the bogeyman of the left, appears to be just another government official doing what he thought was right at the time. He expanded our status of forces agreements (SOFA) with other countries (Japan included), ended participations the the ABM treaty (a useless Cold-war Carter-era relic) and trans formed the military.

In the Atlantic article What Rumsfeld Got Right Robert D. Kaplan writes:

He spent a lot of time worrying about seams on the map—for example, where Central Command ended and Pacific Command began (at the borders of India and Pakistan, and Kazakhstan and China, and in the middle of the increasingly critical Indian Ocean). How would the Pentagon handle a conflict athwart such a seam? Rumsfeld centralized the command structure by subtly weakening the area commands and strengthening the global commands. Joint Forces Command got responsibility for recommending troop rotations from one area to another. Transportation Command took control of various air- and sealift commands, and of getting matériel right up to the battlefront. Strategic Command got control of space, cyber warfare, reconnaissance, and missile defense. Special Operations Command took on the global manhunt for al‑Qaeda and went from being a mere force provider to a full-fledged war-fighting command that could operate alongside or even ahead of the area commands.

Now my old unit went to Japan as part of that agreement. Japese and South Korean troops are seen frequently at U.S. bases in the mainland traing along side American troops. Some even attend professional development schools here.
Kaplan goes further to add:

Yet SOF has two traditions: direct action (combat), and a softer, embrace-your-indigenous-brother training approach. In his early years as defense secretary, Rumsfeld was more interested in direct action. Al-Qaeda, he thought, warranted a global manhunt and little more. Only later, after his comeuppance in Iraq, and as confirmed by the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, did he come around to the view that with an unpredictable enemy—and one that was easy to kill but hard to locate—we needed to understand the local language and culture and to bond with the indigenous inhabitants. During his tenure, the number of Arabic speakers in the military grew by 30 percent, Farsi speakers by 50 percent, Urdu speakers by 76 percent, and Chinese speakers by 57 percent. But these figures seem impressive only because the starting numbers were so low.

Kaplan does take Rumsfeld to task ony many of his failures to wit:

..his decision to more or less go it alone in Afghanistan in 2001 made strict military but not political sense. The failure to allow NATO a large role in the beginning gave alliance members little stake in the outcome—a dynamic that continues to hamper the war’s conduct. His use of private contractors in Iraq made sense in order to create efficiencies in the rear, but because Iraq constituted an irregular war, there was often no rear there, so contractors found themselves in the midst of the fighting. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was an abject failure in the chain of command going all the way up to the defense secretary, who must be held accountable.

Rumsfeld went so far is to disagree with Bush about the troop surge. We wanted to move American forces to less vunerable areas. When the House and Senate went democrat, he resigned his office.

Now look at Obama. According to CNN, Obama says he’s ‘been very consistent’ on Iraq. As my beloved wife would say, oh rly?

Obama “Puzzled” Over Flip-Flop Observations

Obama said he did not make a mistake on Wednesday with his choice of words in describing his Iraq position — even though he called a second news conference a few hours after his initial comments to clarify his stance.

He laid the blame with reporters.

to which
Gabriel Malor fires back

Yeah, don’t those reporters know which side they’re supposed to be on? How dare they report on the exact words that are coming out of Obama’s mouth? The Reuters reporter, at least, doesn’t seem to appreciate the charge and pokes a little fun at Obama

He changed his stance on FISA, on abortion and now backs merit pay for teachers. That last one rankles me because I was a teacher briefly. I saw people who could not teach, administrators who could not fix the problems with standards and discipline. And a school board in bed with the teachers union. Obama was booded by the NEA. Given his flip flops, merit pay will disappear if he gets into office.

Being aginst the troop surge before he was for it has caused many on the left to question him:

Call him slippery or nuanced, Barack Obama’s core position on Iraq has always been more ambiguous than audacious. Now it is catching up with him as his latest remarks are questioned by the Republicans, the mainstream media, and the antiwar movement. He could put his candidacy at risk if his audacity continues to shrivel.

Writes 60’s radical Tom Hayden. Backing a politician who lies…chickens come home to roost.

Rumsfeld had the guts to admit he was wrong and quit. Obama just changes his position, and you are attacked if you call him on it.

p.s. Bush was right Last major stockpile from Saddam’s nuclear efforts arrives in Canada

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One Response to “Rumsfeld vs. Obama”

  1. […] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by jstafura on 2008-07-27 Rumsfeld vs. Obama https://chockblock.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/rumsfeld-vs-obama/ – bookmarked by 2 members originally […]

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