Thursday, March 27, 2003

Ex-generals fall out with Rumsfeld
'Retired generals, with the support of their serving colleagues, are openly accusing Mr Rumsfeld of underestimating the strength of Iraqi forces and mistakenly believing that the war would be a rout.'

'According to Pentagon sources, the first plan presented by Gen Franks proposed using four or five heavy divisions moving slowly towards Baghdad. Mr Rumsfeld is said to have rejected this, stating bluntly that it was unimaginative and too similar to 1991. Mr Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, his deputy, favoured a smaller, lighter force relying heavily on Special Forces and air power.

'Although Gen Franks managed to block any "Afghan model" plan in which Iraqi opposition forces would do much of the fighting supported by as few as 60,000 American troops, the final plan bore Mr Rumsfeld's stamp. There are around 250,000 coalition troops in the Persian Gulf but only two heavy divisions: the US 3rd Infantry and Britain's 7th Armoured Brigade.'

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