Talk:Eric Shinseki

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Is this the sort of item that the Center supports?

I share your sentiment /but/ the General was not booted ... he had announced his plans to retire earlier. (At least that's what's documented ... I suppose I could just go ahead and make something up ... that's not what's done here, is it? *glare*)

Keep urban myths outta here. hfx_ben

From rightist Robert Novak at, June 2003: "As a yearlong lame duck when Rumsfeld unexpectedly announced Shinseki's retirement a year in advance, Shinseki never was able to convince the secretary that policy was outstripping capabilities." [1] Not quite the same as what's on the page... but not the same as Shinseki announcing his own retirement either... --Neoconned 20:54, 19 Oct 2004 (EDT)
...and from Robert Novak May 2003: "Rumsfeld had defied precedent by announcing 14 months in advance Shinseki's retirement as chief of staff in June 2003, making him a lame duck. Shinseki's highly regarded heir apparent, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Keane, recently announced his retirement for reasons of family illness. That clears the board for Rumsfeld to pick generals who will not oppose reducing Army strength by the equivalent of two combat divisions." [2]
So surely the 'urban myth' here is that the General "had announced his plans to retire earlier." (your words) --Neoconned 21:05, 19 Oct 2004 (EDT)
FYI, I removed the statement that Shinseki "consequently retired" from the article. The important point is that his advice was ignored. The details about how his retirement was handled don't seem that important to the article. If someone would like to write a more precise account of the circumstances of his retirement, feel free to add it back in, but the original wording here seemed to imply a cause-and-effect relationship between his advice being ignored and his retirement, which doesn't seem entirely accurate. --Sheldon Rampton 00:52, 20 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Silencing General Shinseki

It appears to me that the Bush administration led of course by Donald Rumsfeld is getting rid of military brass who dare to disagree with them. A classic example is General Shinseki who appeared, painfully so, to give a contrary estimate of troops needed in Iraq which greatly displeased Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Since it appears more and more that General Shinseki was perfectly correct in his assessment, I am concerned that Rumsfeld (and maybe Bush) are attempting to cover up or hide a dangerous lie...that our political leaders are acting in a dangerous manner by shutting up truthful American leaders for their honesty. I suspect General Shinseki (and mabe others) have been forcibly and unfairly "retired." Anybody have more information?

Donny Abington PA

Distinguishing causes from chronology

This article does need some reworking to more clearly present the appropriate chronology of events without conveying inappropriate cause-effect relationships, most notably those involving his announced retirement, statments on Iraq, refudiation by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, and formal announcement of replacement to fill his position.
--Maynard 22:50, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)

In re: novak as authoritarian cite--some other links--thanks to Sheldon and Maynard

First, i am rather uncomforable with the thought of novak being used as a soure for any data, even citations that come in from the elliptic against him. Novak is a most disagreeable toady tattler. After his outing of Plame, he should have been designated an illegal combatant for one day, shipped off to gitmo, and have a school of Americas graduate and former Chilean Intelligence officer, now employed by a corporate contractor of outsourced specialist assets for the pentagon, play novak's tidy bowl white porcelain teeth like they were a vibraphone. Bobby would have been sqealing on all of his weaslie contacts in an instance. Then when he bitterly complained on crossfire about it, we could all have a laugh and tell him, "lighten up whiner, at least they didn't forcibly shove a chemical lightstick up your anus, nor did they cut of your worthless head."

Second, thanks Sheldon and Maynard for working out the stupid remarks or the tampa bay luser. To claim the whole article was a lie because of doubful circumstances that he ironically used a faux news cite of Hume's leading into the election for backing. I almost posted some really mean stuff here, but i am trying to ease up on the trigger finger i acquired on pol boards this election cycle, defending the yankeedouchebag over the hammerheaded-godtalksinhishead-warmongrel. are some archival stuff of mine, and a link to a small zipped file that will remain active for at least twelve hours. Most of it is relevant, or points out the revisionism of the Bush Admin:


In case anyone cares, I searched Shinseki on some of my archives and returned 2 relevant W.Post articles that are still live and linkable remotely.

One backs the Kean argument neoconned used novak's cite for:

"In another unusual move, Rumsfeld has tapped Army Gen. John Keane, the No. 2 officer in the Army, to succeed the current chief of that service, Gen. Eric Shinseki, whose term runs out next year. Selecting a successor for the current chief so far in advance is highly unusual."
Ricks, Thomas E.; "Bush Backs Overhaul of Military's Top Ranks"; Washington Post Thursday, April 11, 2002; [3]

Here's one that really points out what intelligence failures Wolfowitz and Rumsfled are:

(Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz)...took exception with an estimate for postwar troop requirements from Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the Army's chief of staff. Shinseki told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" could be necessary.
Rumsfeld, speaking to reporters yesterday at the Pentagon, said he believed Shinseki's estimate "will prove to be high," but declined to say by how much.
‘Anyone who tries to go to a single-point answer has to have made a series of judgments about a set of six to eight variables, and he has to have, in his mind, decided, Well, this is how that variable is going to be decided, and therefore, I can come to a single-point answer.’ Rumsfeld said. ‘I‘m not deft enough to take six or eight working variables. . . .’
Wolfowitz was far more blunt in testimony Thursday before the House Budget Committee when asked to comment on Shinseki's estimate. ‘Way off the mark,’ he said.
[. . .]
Planners on the Army staff, the Joint Staff and Rumsfeld's staff are assuming that, even if 200,000 or more troops are necessary to stabilize postwar Iraq, only a relatively small percentage would come from the United States. Rumsfeld noted this week that numerous allies have indicated that they would commit troops to help stabilize postwar Iraq.
The Joint Staff is estimating that the U.S. troop presence could be between 45,000 and 60,000 soldiers for up to two years, the rough equivalent of two to three Army divisions. While a commitment of this level would put an enormous strain on the Army, which has 10 active-duty divisions, it would be far less than what one Army staff member called Shinseki's ‘guesstimate.&squo;
[. . .]
A study last year by the Army's Center of Military History has found that the U.S. military would have to commit 100,000 peacekeeping troops in Iraq if it were to occupy and reconstruct the country on the scale that occurred in Japan and Germany after World War II.
One expert, Brookings Institution analyst Michael O'Hanlon, estimates that occupying Iraq -- and holding together its three disparate parts -- could require from 100,000 to 250,000 troops in the first year. Assuming that only 15 percent to 25 percent of that force is American, O'Hanlon recently told the House Armed Services Committee, the Pentagon's contribution would be 15,000 to 60,000 troops.
The Pentagon's unwillingness to talk about the possible cost of the war triggered complaints from Democrats after administration officials disclosed Wednesday that unofficial Defense Department estimates pegged the cost of the war at between $60 billion and $95 billion. That was far higher than Rumsfeld's public estimate five weeks ago, when he said a conflict in the Persian Gulf would probably cost less than $50 billion.
Loeb, Vernon; "Cost of War Remains Unanswered Question"; Wasington Post, Saturday, March 1, 2003; [4]

US News & World Report said that they hadn't picked Shinseki's successor as of June 16, 2003:

The Army must face these challenges without a soldier at the top, since no successor has yet been named to Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, who retires this week. Shinseki and Rumsfeld have had a famously frosty relationship, and several Army officials say that with Rumsfeld at the helm, the post of chief of staff is not exactly coveted. As one Army officer puts it: "Anyone who steps into the job is going to have to be pretty damn thick skinned."
Mazzetti, Mark ; "We have met the enemy. . ."; U.S. News & World Report, June 16, 2003; (link leads to archived story)

Part of a NY Times story:

Mr. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, opened a two-front war of words on Capitol Hill, calling the recent estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, "wildly off the mark." Pentagon officials have put the figure closer to 100,000 troops.
Mr. Wolfowitz then dismissed articles in several newspapers this week asserting that Pentagon budget specialists put the cost of war and reconstruction at $60 billion to $95 billion in this fiscal year. He said it was impossible to predict accurately a war's duration, its destruction and the extent of rebuilding afterward.
‘We have no idea what we will need until we get there on the ground,’ Mr. Wolfowitz said at a hearing of the House Budget Committee. ‘Every time we get a briefing on the war plan, it immediately goes down six different branches to see what the scenarios look like. If we costed each and every one, the costs would range from $10 billion to $100 billion.’
[. . .]
Mr. Wolfowitz, with Dov S. Zakheim, the Pentagon comptroller, at his side, tried to mollify the Democratic lawmakers, promising to fill them in eventually on the administration's internal cost estimates.
‘There will be an appropriate moment,’ he said, when the Pentagon would provide Congress with cost ranges. ‘We‘re not in a position to do that right now.’
[. . .]
Neither Mr. Rumsfeld nor Mr. Wolfowitz mentioned General Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, by name. But both men were clearly irritated at the general's suggestion that a postwar Iraq might require many more forces than the 100,000 American troops and the tens of thousands of allied forces that are also expected to join a reconstruction effort.
‘The idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces I think is far off the mark,’ Mr. Rumsfeld said.
[. . .]
A spokesman for General Shinseki, Col. Joe Curtin, said today that the general stood by his estimate. "He was asked a question and he responded with his best military judgment," Colonel Curtin said. General Shinseki is a former commander of the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia.
In his testimony, Mr. Wolfowitz ticked off several reasons why he believed a much smaller coalition peacekeeping force than General Shinseki envisioned would be sufficient to police and rebuild postwar Iraq.
He said there was no history of ethnic strife in Iraq, as there was in Bosnia or Kosovo. He said Iraqi civilians would welcome an American-led liberation force that "stayed as long as necessary but left as soon as possible," but would oppose a long-term occupation force. And he said that nations that oppose war with Iraq would likely sign up to help rebuild it.
‘I would expect that even countries like France will have a strong interest in assisting Iraq in reconstruction,’ Mr. Wolfowitz said. He added that many Iraqi expatriates would likely return home to help.
[. . .]
Mr. Wolfowitz spent much of the hearing knocking down published estimates of the costs of war and rebuilding, saying the upper range of $95 billion was too high, and that the estimates were almost meaningless because of the variables.
Moreover, he said such estimates, and speculation that postwar reconstruction costs could climb even higher, ignored the fact that Iraq is a wealthy country, with annual oil exports worth $15 billion to $20 billion. ‘To assume we're going to pay for it all is just wrong,’ he said.
At the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld said the factors influencing cost estimates made even ranges imperfect. Asked whether he would release such ranges to permit a useful public debate on the subject, Mr. Rumsfeld said, ‘I‘ve already decided that. It's not useful.’
Schmitt, Eric; "Wolfowitz Contradicts Army chief of staff on Iraq Occupation Force's Size"; NY Times, Feb. 28, 2003; (original url: dead link)

An excerpt of a Wesley Clark book online:

Clark, Wesley; "America's Virtual Empire: U.S. soldiers are great warriors, but unwilling imperial guards."; The Washington Monthly, November 2003; [5]


Zinni, Anthony; "The 10 mistakes"; SALON, May 26, 2004; [6]

Gen. Anthony Zinni, former CentCom commander, lists the catastrophic blunders made by the Bush team that led to the Iraq nightmare.

From a speech at the Center for Defense Information's board of directors dinner on May 12, 2004.