How A General Scolded Donald Rumsfeld
The following article is written by Thomas Ricks, who wrote "Fiasco"the best book critical of Iraq war policy to date.
General Shinseki was made famous for telling Congress that three times more troops would be necessary to occupy Iraq after the conflict to which Wolfowitz"smugly replied that in Congressional testimony that "that would be hard to imagine. General Shinseki was then relieved of his position and retired by Rumsfeld.
Having been on both sides of the policies in question, both overseas and in D.C., this letter presents a new perspective during that controversial pre-war period.
How does an Army chief of staff chew out his boss, the defense secretary?
Gen. Eric K. Shinseki shows how it's done in this letter written to Donald H. Rumsfeld just before Shinseki stepped down in June 2003. During the run-up to the war, the general told Congress that more troops would be needed to secure Iraq, which earned him a famously public rebuke by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. Shinseki was said to still be angry about the dust-up when he retired.
The general's letter may be more history than news at this point, but its criticism of the way Rumsfeld's office worked does shed some additional light on the development of the mess in Iraq. And Shinseki's comments are particularly interesting because he has maintained an almost total silence in the five years since his retirement. This may be the most we ever learn about his perspective.