[Marxism] When thieves fall out
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 6 08:09:50 MDT 2006
Rumsfeld Challenges Rice on 'Tactical Errors' in Iraq
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006; A21
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he did not know what Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice was talking about when she said last week that the
United States had made thousands of "tactical errors" in handling the war
in Iraq, a statement she later said was meant figuratively.
Speaking during a radio interview on WDAY in Fargo, N.D., on Tuesday,
Rumsfeld said calling changes in military tactics during the war "errors"
reflects a lack of understanding of warfare. Rumsfeld defended his war plan
for Iraq but added that such plans inevitably do not survive first contact
with the enemy.
"Why? Because the enemy's got a brain; the enemy watches what you do and
then adjusts to that, so you have to constantly adjust and change your
tactics, your techniques and your procedures," Rumsfeld told interviewer
Scott Hennen, according to a Defense Department transcript. "If someone
says, well, that's a tactical mistake, then I guess it's a lack of
understanding, at least my understanding, of what warfare is about."
Rumsfeld's questioning of Rice's comment came amid long-standing tensions
between their departments over the war in Iraq and other issues. Rumsfeld
and the Pentagon have been criticized by members of Congress and even some
retired generals for missteps in Iraq, such as failing to anticipate the
On a trip to Britain, Rice told reporters Friday that "I know we've made
tactical errors, thousands of them I'm sure," but that the strategic
decisions will be the ones historians judge.
When asked about the comment the next day, Rice said she "wasn't sitting
around counting" U.S. tactical errors and instead meant her remark
figuratively. "The point I was making . . . is that, of course, if you've
ever made decisions, you've undoubtedly made mistakes in the decisions that
you've made, but that the important thing is to get the big strategic
decisions right and that I am confident that the decision to overthrow
Saddam Hussein and give the Iraqi people an opportunity for peace and
democracy is the right decision."
In the radio interview, Hennen said Rice had "figuratively suggested
recently we've made thousands of tactical errors" and "also suggested that
the important test was making the right strategic decisions and that would
be the test of history."
Hennen asked Rumsfeld: "Do you agree with that? Have we made thousands of
tactical errors? And does that concern you?"
Rumsfeld replied: "I don't know what she was talking about, to be perfectly
Rumsfeld pointed to the nature of the Iraq war -- unpredictable from the
start -- as the reason the United States has had to change tactics over the
past three years.
"If you had a static situation and you made a mistake in how you addressed
the static situation, that would be one thing," he said. "What you have
here is not a static situation, you have a dynamic situation with an enemy
that thinks, uses their brain, constantly adjusts, and therefore our
commanders have to constantly make tactical adjustments."
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