Your Liberal Media
Sunday, September 10, 2006
You go to war with the SecDef you have
Posted by neros_fiddle at 3:05 PM
Via Tom Tomorrow's blog, we learn Rummy wasn't particularly interested in the boring stuff that came after "shock and awe":
In 2001, Scheid was a colonel with the Central Command, the unit that oversees U.S. military operations in the Mideast.
On Sept. 10, 2001, he was selected to be the chief of logistics war plans.
On Sept. 11, 2001, he said, "life just went to hell."
That day, Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of Central Command, told his planners, including Scheid, to "get ready to go to war."
A day or two later, Rumsfeld was "telling us we were going to war in Afghanistan and to start building the war plan. We were going to go fast.
"Then, just as we were barely into Afghanistan ... Rumsfeld came and told us to get ready for Iraq."
Scheid said he remembers everyone thinking, "My gosh, we're in the middle of Afghanistan, how can we possibly be doing two at one time? How can we pull this off? It's just going to be too much."
Planning was kept very hush-hush in those early days.
"There was only a handful of people, maybe five or six, that were involved with that plan because it had to be kept very, very quiet."
There was already an offensive plan in place for Iraq, Scheid said. And in the beginning, the planners were just expanding on it.
"Whether we were going to execute it, we had no idea," Scheid said.
Eventually other military agencies - like the transportation and Army materiel commands - had to get involved.
They couldn't just "keep planning this in the dark," Scheid said.
Planning continued to be a challenge.
"The secretary of defense continued to push on us ... that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave," Scheid said. "We won't stay."
Scheid said the planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4," or the piece of the plan that included post-invasion operations like occupation.
Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said.
"I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today.
"He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."
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