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The Rumsfeld Revivalists

Allen McDuffee has a funny piece in The New York Observer about Mike O’Hanlon and Robert Kaplan championing aspects of Donald Rumsfeld’s military transformation agenda. I’ll have more to say about the substance of the transformation agenda in a future installment of "The Rise of The Counterinsurgents." But as for McDuffee’s piece, O’Hanlon makes the worthwhile point in it that just because Rumsfeld said something doesn’t invalidate it — which is true. But Kaplan says:

Kaplan agrees with O’Hanlon’s assessment of Rumsfeld’s hardheadedness but also insists that "Rumsfeld, who is often accused of micromanaging, did not micromanage enough." Kaplan asserts that "Rumsfeld was so busy thinking about the Iraq’s ‘obvious’ military moves — launching chemical weapons, making a last stand in Baghdad — that he neglected to hedge against what they actually did: melt away and return weeks later as small bands of insurgents. …By the time Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled in Baghdad, we had become too impressed with our own military to see it as a ’superb target.’"

I don’t really understand how that’s an example of Rumsfeld not micromanaging enough. This is a guy who refused to acknowledge there was a guerrilla war in Iraq even when a Pentagon correspondent recited to him the doctrinal definition of guerrilla war. When you’ve got someone like that, more micromanagement is rarely the answer.

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