The View From CENTCOM

THE VIEW FROM CENTCOM….So what do former CENTCOM commanders think about the neocons and their war planning? Let’s listen in:

  • General Joseph Hoar, 1991-1994: “Paul Wolfowitz is a very bright guy, but he doesn’t know anything about war-fighting, and I suspect he knows less about counterinsurgency operations….I think that the neo-conservatives had their day, by selling to the President the need for invasion of Iraq. I think it’s now time for a clean sweep?and it has been for some time, in my judgment?to get rid of these people.”

  • General Anthony Zinni, 1997-2000: He believes the neocons, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, have hijacked U.S. foreign policy: “In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw, at minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption.”

  • General Tommy Franks, 2000-2003: Doug Feith is “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.”

General Binford Peay III, CENTCOM commander from 1994-1997, seems to have maintained a studious silence about the conduct of the war, perhaps understandable since he’s now the chairman of the board of a defense contractor that, among other things, provides ammunition for the Army’s Stryker brigades.

Still, that’s a pretty remarkable record, isn’t it? Three of the past four CENTCOM commanders, the guys who probably understand the military requirements of a war in the Middle East better than any other humans on the planet, think the people who planned this war are completely incompetent. Quite an accomplishment.

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