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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Other Lessons From a 2nd Year Cadet

In the Senate debate over its proposed military funding bill that included language for a timetable of withdrawal, John McCain criticized the inclusion of the timetable language with the following comment (#1):

“This bill should be named the Date Certain for Surrender Act,” said Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican. “A second-year cadet at West Point could tell you that if you announce when the end will be, it’s a recipe for defeat.”

Hmmmmm. Given the phenomenal success of the Bush Administration's prosecution of this war and the equally valuable insight provided by Congress in supervising its progress, maybe John is on to something. What other esoteric military knowledge might a second-year West Point cadet have brought to bear to improve results that seemed to have escaped an entire generation of elected officials, appointees and think-tank refugees who designed this catastrophe?


1) Know your enemy, know where your enemy actually is, and attack your enemy, not a neighboring country filled with people that might look like your enemy but pose entirely different risks.

2) If you're going to invade a country and your planning exercises and three top generals all tell you the job needs 300,000 troops minimum, don't go in with 150,000.

3) When starting a war, don't jeopardize the safety of your front line troops by starting the shooting before your supply chain has been established.

4) When racing through "conquered" territory to plant your flag and nail that photo op for your bio flick at the next national convention, make sure you bring enough troops to secure the tons of high explosives scattered throughout the country.

5) After "conquering" the enemy and deposing their leader and toppling their government, you might want to retain a few of the civilians employees that keep the power plants and water plants running. Electricity and clean water are more than a nice-to-have in the middle of a desert, they're kind of a requirement.

6) When shooting your mouth off about the legality of torture and the applicability of the Geneva conventions on non-combatants, maybe you should listen to JAG lawyers within the military instead of your own toady Presidential Counsel and (now) civilian Attorney General who has no insight or expertise into the practical impacts of condoning such conduct in a theatre of war.

Maybe we should have the current Commander in Chief step down and put a 2nd year West Point cadet in his place. Could we possibly do any worse?


#1) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/washington/28cong.html