Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Rumsfelds' redemption?

Rummy says "Whoa, let's back up a bit here,"

In a leaked memo to the NY Times (apparently US intelligence adheres to the collander means of security)we learn that Rummies' confidence in "stay the course" was, to say the least, flagging as his tenure as SecDef ended.
His take:

  • the US strategy in Iraq "is not working well enough or fast enough".

  • "Begin modest withdrawals of US and coalition forces (start 'taking our hand off the bicycle seat'), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up, and take responsibility for their country."

  • "Announce that whatever new approach the US decides on, the US is doing so on a trial basis. This will give us the ability to readjust and move to another course, if necessary, and therefore not 'lose'."

  • "Recast the US military mission and the US goals (how we talk about them) -- go minimalist."

  • "Initiate an approach [in regards to the Iraqi government] where US forces provide security only for those provinces or cities that openly request US help and that actively co-operate, with the stipulation being that unless they co-operate fully, US forces would leave their province."

  • "Withdraw US forces from vulnerable positions -- cities, patrolling, etc -- and move US forces to a Quick Reaction Force status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance."[he calls for the reduction of US bases from 55 to 10 or 15 by 4/07. In effect he's avoiding a situation where US forces are principly affecting a defensive posture in Iraq.]

  • Additionally, Rumsfeld encouraged a redeployment of troops to both the Iranian and Syrian borders "to reduce infiltration and, importantly, reduce Iranian influence on the Iraqi Government".

When I first read of Rummies retirement I thought "good enough." This bit of leaked news serves to re-enforce my initial reaction. These terms may or may have not been generated in the mind of the first youngest and last oldest American SecDef. Without regard, they provide the Bush Admin. a partisan leverage point. In essence, the Bush admin. can embark on some of the actions put forth by Rummy (and Democrats) and save partisan face. Their policy change could be attributed not to Democrat or even popular dissent, rather it would be claimed that the wisdom of a departing statesman caused a strategic shift regarding Iraq.