Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Military Reservist Gives Kerry What-For

Via PoliPundit. A frequent commenter named Oak Leaf resents Kerry's treatment of the bogus "missing explosives" story. Given military realities, Kerry is insulting the soldiers, not Bush. I'm excerpting Oak Leaf's open letter in full:
An Open Letter to Senator John F. Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry:

Yesterday, in response to a New York Times article on unaccounted for munitions, you specifically stated, “The unbelievable incompetence of this president and his administration has put our troops at risk.” Further, throughout the campaign, you continually denigrate “the administration” for every negative event that has occurred in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This Officer, and many of my peers, as plans officers, considers your reference to “the administration” as a direct attack on our professional and competent military judgment.

As a United States Senator you understand that this administration is not involved in the micro-management of either Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. Thirty-seven years ago, during the war in which you served, President Johnson and Secretary McNamara were deeply involved in the micro-management of the Vietnam Conflict. Today, military scholars consider that micro-management as a reason for the failure of US Forces in Vietnam. President Bush however, has chosen to leave the warfighting decisions in the Global War on Terror to the professionals of the US Military.

You would like to leave the impression with the American people, that President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld developed the “war plan” for Iraq in the Oval Office. The truth is the order to carry out Operation Iraqi Freedom was a single one page letter of instruction signed by the President, and delivered to the Services through the Secretary of Defense. At that time, Operational Plans were developed by literally thousands of highly trained officers and every conceivable contingency went through a war game planning process that included force planners at all levels and the various Staff Colleges and War Colleges. These Operational Plans and Contingency Plans numbered hundreds of thousands of pages that would be made available to all levels of combat commanders in a real time network environment. These contingency plans are continuously updated and prepared to reflect changes on the ground in a real time environment.

Operation Iraqi freedom carried the “Powell Doctrine” of overwhelming raw numerical personnel force one step further. A force multiplier was developed that took into consideration technology as a force multiplier. One US Infantryman of today is equal to two Infantryman of yesterday. By all historical standards, both the combat and occupation phases of Iraqi Freedom were and continue to be a complete military success.

Today, less than twenty-four hours after your speech denigrating “the administration”, we discover through the reporting of NBC News, that the 380 tons of missing explosives were gone before US Troops arrived at the installation.

Today’s military rejects the “zero defects mentality” of years past and learns from and admits our mistakes openly and willingly. The “mistakes” and “blunders” that you are attributing to “the administration” are in fact de-facto attacks on the professionalism of every serving military officer. The Officers that you wish to command resent that. Today, you owe an apology to the Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Army War College, the Navy War College, the Air War College, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the Air Command and Staff College, the Army Command and General Staff College, US Army Forces Command, Central Command, Special Operations Command and all the Service Elements.

— Oak Leaf

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