Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

A good Marine.

Just months before the invasion of Iraq, Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold, a Marine Corps senior officer and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, resigned his commission without public explanation.

Due to matters of conscience, he has now come forward with his story. Here's an excerpt:

"After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq—an unnecessary war. Inside the military family, I made no secret of my view that the zealots' rationale for war made no sense . . . But I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat — al-Qaeda. . . Until now, I have resisted speaking out in public. I've been silent long enough. . .

What we are living with now is the consequences of successive policy failures. . . My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions—or bury the results.

Flaws in our civilians are one thing; the failure of the Pentagon's military leaders is quite another. Those are men who know the hard consequences of war but, with few exceptions, acted timidly when their voices urgently needed to be heard. . . The consequence of the military's quiescence was that a fundamentally flawed plan was executed for an invented war, while pursuing the real enemy, al-Qaeda, became a secondary effort. . .

So what is to be done? We need fresh ideas and fresh faces. That means, as a first step, replacing Rumsfeld and many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach. The troops in the Middle East have performed their duty. Now we need people in Washington who can construct a unified strategy worthy of them."
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