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Mea Culpa

March 28th, 2003 - 10:18 am

“Mea Culpa” is a semi-regular feature here on VodkaPundit, as I look over the archives and realize I was drop-dead wrong about something.

Up until this weekend, I was proudly part of the Rumsfeld Camp, confident in the belief that we could win in Iraq with the equivalent of two reinforced heavy divisions (that doesn’t include Air Force wings, Special Forces, support troops, etc.) Just two reinforced combat divisions. American know-how, airpower, and Iraqi weakness would take care of the rest.

I wargamed all the likely scenarios. I fiddled with the parameters. I looked at it from every angle I could think of. And I got it exactly wrong.

Can we win with no more than the forces on the ground? You bet we can — but not in the 7-10 days I figured it would take, and not without pushing our troops unforgivably and needlessly hard. Our 3rd Infantry Division, our marines, the Brits, they’ve all been in constant contact with the enemy for nine days running. Soldiers in battle need a rest. They need relief. And there’s none coming for another ten days.

I was wrong. More importantly, so was otherwise-excellent Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He’s shown great courage, canceling purchases like the cool-but-unneeded M109 Crusader artillery program. But for all the courage he’s shown, he’s asking our troops to show too much.

They will endure, they will win. But at a price in time and effort and blood that didn’t have to be so high.

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