Look who's sniping at Rumsfeld: of all people, the folks from the Project for the New American Century -- you know, the neocons who plotted out the Iraq war years before George W. Bush became president. PNAC's executive director and a senior fellow don't like Rummy's CEO-style lean 'n' mean operation:
...even as the headlines daily report the realities of counterinsurgency in Iraq and terrorism around the world, there comes news that the U.S. military is revising its war plans for Korea, the Middle East, and elsewhere “based on assumptions that conflicts could be fought more quickly and with fewer American troops than previously thought.”
...Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld thinks he can wring greater “efficiencies” from the force. [General Peter] Pace’s study, according to the [Washington] Post, has presented Rumsfeld with more than 60 ideas for such improvements, including a centrally directed system of force allocation--presumably to measure out units in times of crisis “just in time,” as in the march to Baghdad.
...In Iraq as in the larger war on terrorism and the political struggle to liberalize the Middle East, sustaining American military power for years is as crucial as applying it instantly; it does matter how quickly we get there, but it also matters how long we stay. Yes, changing this region demands more than just military strength, but as the situation in Iraq makes painfully obvious, establishing security is the first order of business.
It is also painfully obvious that the civilian and uniformed leadership of the U.S. military remain resolutely fixated on battle and, it seems, willfully ignorant about war--the use of armed force for a political purpose.
...The United States cannot remain the principal guarantor of a global liberal order simply by flitting about the planet like Peter Pan designating targets for B-2 bombers....
The PNACers are some of the people who got us into this mess with their hubris and megalomania, but they're right -- if we're actually going to try to fulfill their cockeyed fantasy of overthrowing Iraq's government and reconstructing the country from scratch, and if at the same time we want to keep on top of other threats, Rumsfeld's notion that we can do it with bare-bones troop strength is utter lunacy.