January 12, 2004

Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope

Paul O'Neil? The International Monetary Fund? Kevin
Phillips? The Army War College? This list is not a
roll call of "left-wing ideologues" or even "partisan
Democrats." Yes, the _resident is in deep trouble
politically, and "all the _resident's men" are not
going to be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together
again...Of course, there is always the Franks option
(that's Franks, not Franken)...Remember? Recently retired
Gen. Tommy Franks, in an interview with Cigar Afficiando (look it up in the LNS searchable database) said, matter-of-factly, that the
_resident will declare martial law if there is another
devastating terrorist strike like 9/11 on US soil...

Washington Post: A scathing new report published by
the Army War College broadly criticizes the Bush
administration's handling of the war on terrorism,
accusing it of taking a detour into an "unnecessary"
war in Iraq and pursuing an "unrealistic" quest
against terrorism that may lead to U.S. wars with
states that pose no serious threat.

Paul O'Neil, the _resident's first Secretary of the
Treasury has blasted him as an ineffectual leader

CBS: At cabinet meetings, he says the president was
"like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There
is no discernible connection," forcing top officials
to act "on little more than hunches about what the
president might think."

The International Monetary Fund has denounced the tax
cuts O'Neil was fired for NOT supporting

NYT: The report warns that the United
States' net financial obligations to the rest of the
world could be equal to 40 percent of its total
economy within a few years "an unprecedented level of
external debt for a large industrial country,"

according to the fund, that could play havoc with the
value of the dollar and international exchange rates.

Kevin Phillips, who worked for Nixon, authored the
"Emerging Republican Majority," voted for Reagan twice
and would happily have voted for John McCain, has come
out "American Dynasty," a powerful political analysis
shedding a harsh bright light on the Bush Cabal's
relationships with the Saudis in general and the Bin
Laden family in particular.

Buzzflash: To Phillips, however, the greatest threat
to America posed by the Bush dynasty is not its
inherent unfitness to rule. What most offends and
angers Phillips is the threat that the imposition of
the Bush dynasty on America poses to democracy itself.
The American rebellion in 1776 represented the
creation of a nation built on the foundations of a
government elected by the people, not determined by
the restoration to power of corrupt bloodlines.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-up and the Iraq Deceit, Show
Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope

By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 12, 2004; Page A12

A scathing new report published by the Army War
College broadly criticizes the Bush administration's
handling of the war on terrorism, accusing it of
taking a detour into an "unnecessary" war in Iraq and
pursuing an "unrealistic" quest against terrorism that
may lead to U.S. wars with states that pose no serious

The report, by Jeffrey Record, a visiting professor at
the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in
Alabama, warns that as a result of those mistakes, the
Army is "near the breaking point."

It recommends, among other things, scaling back the
scope of the "global war on terrorism" and instead
focusing on the narrower threat posed by the al Qaeda
terrorist network.

"[T]he global war on terrorism as currently defined
and waged is dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious,
and accordingly . . . its parameters should be
readjusted," Record writes. Currently, he adds, the
anti-terrorism campaign "is strategically unfocused,
promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to
dissipate U.S. military resources in an endless and
hopeless search for absolute security."

Record, a veteran defense specialist and author of six
books on military strategy and related issues, was an
aide to then-Sen. Sam Nunn when the Georgia Democrat
was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In discussing his political background, Record also
noted that in 1999 while on the staff of the Air War
College, he published work critical of the Clinton

His essay, published by the Army War College's
Strategic Studies Institute, carries the standard
disclaimer that its views are those of the author and
do not necessarily represent those of the Army, the
Pentagon or the U.S. government.

But retired Army Col. Douglas C. Lovelace Jr.,
director of the Strategic Studies Institute, whose Web
site carries Record's 56-page monograph, hardly
distanced himself from it. "I think that the substance
that Jeff brings out in the article really, really
needs to be considered," he said.

Publication of the essay was approved by the Army War
College's commandant, Maj. Gen. David H. Huntoon Jr.,
Lovelace said. He said he and Huntoon expected the
study to be controversial, but added, "He considers it
to be under the umbrella of academic freedom."

Larry DiRita, the top Pentagon spokesman, said he had
not read the Record study. He added: "If the
conclusion is that we need to be scaling back in the
global war on terrorism, it's not likely to be on my
reading list anytime soon."

Many of Record's arguments, such as the contention
that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was deterred and did not
present a threat, have been made by critics of the
administration. Iraq, he concludes, "was a
war-of-choice distraction from the war of necessity
against al Qaeda." But it is unusual to have such
views published by the War College, the Army's premier
academic institution.

In addition, the essay goes further than many critics
in examining the Bush administration's handling of the
war on terrorism.

Record's core criticism is that the administration is
biting off more than it can chew. He likens the scale
of U.S. ambitions in the war on terrorism to Adolf
Hitler's overreach in World War II. "A cardinal rule
of strategy is to keep your enemies to a manageable
number," he writes. "The Germans were defeated in two
world wars . . . because their strategic ends outran
their available means."

He also scoffs at the administration's policy, laid
out by Bush in a November speech, of seeking to
transform and democratize the Middle East. "The
potential policy payoff of a democratic and prosperous
Middle East, if there is one, almost certainly lies in
the very distant future," he writes. "The basis on
which this democratic domino theory rests has never
been explicated."

He also casts doubt on whether the U.S. government
will maintain its commitment to the war. "The
political, fiscal, and military sustainability of the
GWOT [global war on terrorism] remains to be seen," he

The essay concludes with several recommendations. Some
are fairly noncontroversial, such as increasing the
size of the Army and Marine Corps, a position that
appears to be gathering support in Congress. But he
also says the United States should scale back its
ambitions in Iraq, and be prepared to settle for a
"friendly autocracy" there rather than a genuine

To read the full report, go to

Posted by richard at January 12, 2004 08:34 AM