From 2000 until October 2002, I was a Marine Corps lieutenant general and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war. Inside the military family, I made no secret of my view that the zealots' rationale for war made no sense. And I think I was outspoken enough to make those senior to me uncomfortable. But I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat--al-Qaeda. I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11's tragedy to hijack our security policy. Until now, I have resisted speaking out in public. I've been silent long enough.He goes on for three pages and he's spitting mad. He was on the inside and watched first hand in silence as the disaster unfolded. Read he words and see what you missed on the first go round.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Military leaders are notorius for (and rightly so) following orders and not questioning them while they wear the uniform and defend the country. That's the way it's got to be if the military is to remain effective. Often, even after they leave the service, they will remain silent when they disagree with the government leadership of the militrary out of professional respect for their former comrades in arms. One high ranking general, however, has come out of the closet. General Greg Newbold retired shortly before the invasion of Iraq, mostly in protest of the disaster he saw unfolding. He's held his tongue until now, but today he lets it all hang out in an editorial called, "Why Iraq was a Mistake."