Re(2): 'Muscular Multiculturalism', National Review, Rich Lowry
In the ‘National Review’ April 24, 2006, Rich Lowry opines on three books in the ‘books, arts & manners’ section. Namely:
- ‘The Assassins Gate’, George Packer
- ‘Cobra II’, Michael Gordon and General Trainor
- And ‘No True Glory’, by Bing West
Lowry yanks out the following:
Packer, Gordon, and Trainor are persuasive when they argue that the U.S. effort was harmed by limited forces. The invasion plan had substituted speed for mass – successfully. But as Gordon and Trainor write, ‘Mass, not speed, was requisite for sealing the victory.’ Certainly, if we had it to do over again, we would try the option of sending more forces.I think Lowry et al. are wrong for at least three reasons:
- It is obvious that the original battleplan included about 40,000 seasoned Army troops that spent their time on a Med Cruise as a result of Turkey’s unexpected decision.
- If you are referencing Shinseki’s 400,000 (sung to the tune of McNamera’s 100,000) troop requirement, then think of how that would have been accomplished. The total ground force capability of America’s active duty forces was about 600,000 at the time. And Rumsfeld’s water spout was a bit higher in that water barrel back then. Where are you going to get 400,000 grunts when 40% - 50% of the soldiers and Marines at the time were POGs (Personnel Other than Grunts). And the UN dithered for half a year- leaving us about two months of acceptable combat weather. And, don’t forget South Korea, Bosnia, Africa, Asia, etc…
- And, actually most importantly, if you expect the battlespace to be marred by the use of WMD you DO NOT mass into a giant herd. Such a herd is a massive target of opportunity for a WMD strike. That is one huge reason to “substitute speed for mass” in the Iraq invasion plan. Oh, how soon we forget.
In conclusion, it is apparent that Gordon, Trainor, and even Lowry are similar in one sense to George Packer
a liberal hawk, which sometimes seems to mean someone whose support of the war was contingent on nothing going wrong.Actually, I think I am being a bit too hard on Rich Lowry. But it was fun – and I think it made a point. He is a journalist, not a military 3 type… And, I don’t claim to be one either – the above could be bunk, but it seems to make sense; and it made sense in 2001 and 2003…