Abizaid Admits Shinseki Was Right About Troop Levels In Iraq
The top American military commander for the Middle East, General John Abizaid, publicly admitted yesterday that the American position in Iraq had been undermined by the Bush administration’s decision not to deploy a larger force to stabilize the country in 2003.
That decision came after Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the Army chief of staff at the time, told Congress that several hundred thousand troops would be needed. His testimony was derided by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and contradicted by then-undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, and the general was ostracized at the Pentagon before his retirement a few months later.
“General Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, U.S. force contribution and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations,” Abizaid said. “I think you can look back and say that more American troops would have been advisable in the early stages of May, June, July.”
Someone owes Shinseki an apology, big-time.