Published for 31 May Newspapers
Over the weekend liberal pundits were in a tizzy over Washington Post and New York Times news stories that described White House planning for troop reductions in Iraq. Plans were being drawn up for courses of action to pursue this fall, including scenarios to consider following either the success or failure of the current plan.
Of course the liberal slant on all of this was that the White House must finally realize we’re losing, as the liberals have been insisting upon and wishing for, and that the White House is now forced to concede and come up with a Plan B. Some who have done nothing but politicize the war and invested themselves in our defeat expressed surprise that President Bush would actually have a Plan B.
So here we are again at a crossroads, trying to decide whether or not the liberal leadership is completely ignorant of military matters, rabidly obsessed with the defeat of the administration and our country for their own political gain, or both.
Looking at it militarily, a strong case can be made for their ignorance with regard to military matters. After all, the leading military mind, at least the most vocal, on that side of the aisle seems to be John Murtha, who has been unhinged for quite some time now. The revelations about his plan to “slow-bleed” our own troops sealed the deal for his lack of comprehension and coherent thinking about the Global War on Terror.
Anyone who’s served at even a battalion level command understands that planning for as many contingencies as possible is normal. The greater the scope and size of the unit, the more this type of planning takes place. Those at a regimental level would plan for the future more than a battalion, a division more than a regiment, and so on up the line.
This planning for future operations takes on a life of its own somewhere around the regimental level. In fact, at least by the Division level, there are specific groups of personnel designated solely for “future operations” planning, preparing for what might lie ahead.
At the largest of commands, those that encompass entire continents or areas of the world, deliberate planning groups are assembled for the single purpose of developing contingency plans. In a sense, their primary responsibility is to ask, “what if?” and then develop the “then this” answers.
The process grows to tremendous proportions by the time it hits the Pentagon and those who would work directly with and for the Administration, as well as the major world-wide commanders, tackling the largest and most complex national defense matters and developing possible strategies for solving problems which might face our nation.
Asking “what if?” about the possibilities down the road in Iraq and developing answers to those questions would be a very normal part of the political and military processes for national security, not an earth-shattering revelation.
To ask these questions and develop plans for Iraq and Afghanistan as well as any other potential trouble-spots, like Iran or Venezuela, is the responsibility of any Administration. It is a prudent process we should expect our leadership to pursue, especially during a time of war.
Failure to take these steps for national security preparedness would be irresponsible and a failure of leadership. Any planning concerned with the possibilities in Iraq after this fall is normal and responsible, not the Administration conceding defeat.
One would think that liberals in positions of national leadership would understand this concept. But I concede they might not. After all, it’s their tendency to dislike and at times, even loathe the military. Thus, it’s logical to conclude that they would disengage themselves from this sort of messy, diabolical, militaristic mumbo-jumbo.
The other possibility is that talk of what to do in Iraq this fall is basically a wish come true for those on the left who surrendered to the insurgents quite some time ago. This isn’t a wish come true in the sense that they finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq. It’s that they believe the war is lost, the Administration has to concede defeat, and they get to sit around now collecting votes, win more seats in Congress, and attain the Presidency.
Deciding whether it’s their naivety of national defense or willingness to play politics with our national security, or both, which drives them, is a simple dilemma and better than the one faced by the White House who is “darned if they do, and darned if they don’t.” If they weren’t doing this type of planning they’d be criticized, and rightfully so. Yet when it’s learned they are taking steps toward planning the next phases in Iraq, they still get attacked.
Ultimately, the answer to my previous question must be, “both.” Those doing the attacking from the left are ignorant of military matters and the national security process, but are, none the less, willing to play politics with the military and national security.
Why do they remind me of the guy who was smoking a cigarette while trying to siphon gas from a car with a garden hose because he didn’t know any better, and really didn’t care, he just wanted the gas?