Melvin R. Laird and Robert E. Pursley wrote in WaPo The retired general officers who have recently called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld want to convince the public that civilian control has silenced military wisdom regarding the war in Iraq.
We are the country we are, rather that what Iraq was, because we do have civilian control of our military.They have chafed at Rumsfeld's authoritarian style
And if he intimidate them, think what the Islamofascists would have done.and they may even have legitimate differences of opinion with his decisions. But, while their advice and the weight of their experience should be taken into account, the important time for them to weigh in was while they were on active duty.
Very good point.The two of us have experienced many of the circumstances confronting Rumsfeld. Our experience and connections at the Defense Department tell us that these generals probably had numerous opportunities to advise and object while on active duty.
But they would not have had the opportunity to get publicity to help sell their books if they had compained thenFor them to now imply otherwise is disingenuous and quite possibly harmful for our prospects in Iraq. And it misrepresents the healthy give-and-take that we are confident is widespread between the civilian leadership at the Pentagon and the capable military hierarchy. A general officer is expected to follow orders, but he is also entitled to advise if he thinks those orders are flawed.