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And His Maths Sucked

Well, General Sir Mike Jackson thought Rummy’s ops plan was worthless, so now we hear from British Major General Timothy “Tim” Cross, the senior logistics officer for the British Army at the time of the invasion.

The Associated Press reports: Retired UK general criticizes U.S. Iraq policy

LONDON, England (AP) — A second retired British general slammed the United States over its Iraq policy, saying in a newspaper interview published Sunday that it had been “fatally flawed.”

Maj. Gen. Tim Cross, the most senior British officer involved in the postwar planning, said he had raised serious concerns about the possibility of Iraq falling into chaos but said former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the warnings.

“Right from the very beginning we were all very concerned about the lack of detail that had gone into the postwar plan and there is no doubt that Rumsfeld was at the heart of that process,” Cross said in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

Logistics is vital to a successful military campaign. If we could have supplied the Third Army with fuel after the break-out at Normandy we would have probably met the Soviet army in Poland, not Germany. That wasn’t possible, but we knew it wasn’t possible.

What General Cross is saying basically, is that there were no plans in place for supplying and maintaining forces, or protecting supply lines [Jessica Lynch’s unit shouldn’t have been running on the Iraqi roads without a combat escort]. There were no plans as to what the military should do after it defeated the “enemy.” There were no plans to indicate when troops could pull out. It is not good form to send in assault troops to take positions and then expect them to garrison the positions. Those are separate distinct jobs. Assault troops tend to get up to trouble on garrison duty.

There were no plans, and it’s not because the US can’t make a plan, or doesn’t have detailed plans on the shelves for almost any contingency. The Pentagon is the planningest place on the planet. Rumsfeld had this apparent belief that a short memo was all that was ever needed.

You may remember that after things had gotten mired down in Iraq, Rumsfeld wrote a memo about “metrics.” Well the US didn’t have any “metrics” for Iraq, because “metrics” are one of those annoying little details that get mentioned in real military plans. When you have real military plans you don’t have to continually request supplemental funds, because you know what things are going to cost.

It isn’t a coincidence that British generals are speaking out now. They are really ticked off about being bad-mouthed by Americans for withdrawing. The British accomplished their mission, and see no reason to break their army hanging around for the US to figure out what the real US mission in Iraq was. If there had been plans everyone would know.


1 whig { 09.07.07 at 4:51 am }

Tony Blair is out, and Gordon Brown was unable to get much enthusiasm for another terror scare. Seems to be an improvement in fact.

2 Bryan { 09.07.07 at 12:28 pm }

The British generals are not interested in losing their army.