David Ignatius said the following in yesterday’s WaPo:
Rumsfeld has lost the support of the uniformed military officers who work for him. Make no mistake: The retired generals who are speaking out against Rumsfeld in interviews and op-ed pieces express the views of hundreds of other officers on active duty. When I recently asked an Army officer with extensive Iraq combat experience how many of his colleagues wanted Rumsfeld out, he guessed 75 percent. Based on my own conversations with senior officers over the past three years, I suspect that figure may be low.
I’m sure Mr. Ignatius spoke to a few officers…in the beltway, where it’s all politics all the time.? God knows they wouldn’t give him a biased opinion….sure thing.
This officer agree’s with me:
I would beg to differ with that assessment by Mr. Ignatius. I am a combat arms officer, a combat veteran of the Global War on Terror, currently serving on the faculty of one of the Staff Colleges.My assessment from extensive and continuous contact with young field grade officers, most of which are combat arms branch, combat veterans, is that Secretary Rumsfeld is considered the finest Secretary of Defense of the last forty years. This is in addition to my “peer group”, of which many of us maintain contact with each each other regardless if we are in CONUS or SW Asia.
Maybe Mr. Ignatius has limited his conversations to Officers assigned in the Beltway. Yes, “beltway types” unfortunatly also exist in the military.
However, I can tell you that beyond the Beltway in dusty and dirty places like Ft. Benning, Ft. Stewart, Ft. Hood, Ft. Campbell and Ft. Bragg, where officers wear BDUs instead of Class Bs that there are tens of thousands of Officers, Commissioned/Warrant/Non-Commissioned, that would go to hell and back for this Secretary.
He pushes us to what we “think” is our limit, then shows us we have another ten percent to give. Secretary Rumsfelds nickname among many is the “110% Secretary.” Former Secretary Cohen, a good man whom I respected, would have been considered the “90% Secretary” as he never was able to get us to give “all.”
It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that Rumsfeld is under attack because some Generals put in place by Clinton does not like the idea that Rumsfeld is trying to change our Military into a more modern fighting force.? It’s all politics, all the time.