Take Down …

A must-read on former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld’s career (among other things) — part one and two. It’s long and at times and in places unfair, but it is a very well-researched polemic.

Some highlights:

Henry Kissinger came to think Rumsfeld the “most ruthless” official he had ever known …
In this way, Rumsfeld and others, including Gates and his slightly mad patron Casey at the CIA, would all, in some degree, become policy godfathers of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran as well as of Hezbollah…
To a blight that Charles de Gaulle once deplored in his French army as “solely careerism”, the post-Korea US military added the fetish and pseudo-science of “management” – warriors astride desks, commanding paper flow and brandishing the numerology of budgets with ever more expensive weapons systems…
With Vietnam lessons unlearned and careerist blight as well as contract pillage uninterrupted, the military system’s answer – already emerging as orthodoxy under Rumsfeld in 1976 – would be the simplistic, foolproof dictum, claimed by Colin Powell but hardly his originally, of fighting only with overwhelming forces, crushing firepower, and uncontested air cover (and even then having a precise “exit strategy” in place). This was, in sum, a version of General Taylor’s “deter and win quickly”. (As a “doctrine”, it was as if the army or navy football team would only go on the field with its own rules, its own referees, and a 33-man team in the latest equipment to face an opposite 11 without helmets, pads, or the ability to pass.)

Read it.

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