Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 10, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

POSTWAR TROOP LEVELS....I don't have a copy of the book, so I'm trusting that Spencer Ackerman isn't taking this out of context. Here is General Tommy Franks describing to Donald Rumsfeld his testimony before Congress about a month before the war:

Then I turned to reveal the next chart: PHASE IV: POST-HOSTILITY OPERATIONS. "As stability operations proceed, force levels would continue to grow--perhaps to as many as two hundred and fifty thousand troops, or until we are sure we've met our endstate objectives."

So the Army Chief of Staff, Eric Shinseki, thought we'd need "several hundred thousand troops," and the CENTCOM commander on the ground estimated 250,000 troops.

But we went in with about 150,000. And as Spencer points out, Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz have insisted ever since that this number was exactly what the military commanders advised no more, no less. I know we're not allowed to say that anybody in the Bush administration lies, but Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz sure seem to have a creative way with numbers, don't they?

Kevin Drum 3:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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