DoD* Day

Another of those ridiculous statements which we can fondly recall. “Stuff happens” in democracies. Yeh, Don, stuff happens in fascist states, too.

Army rebuffs Rumsfeld doctrine
Manual: Troop levels must ensure stability
By Julian E. Barnes
Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times
Published November 20, 2006

FT. LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may be leaving under a cloud of criticism over his handling of the Iraq war, but his invasion plan — emphasizing speed over massive troop numbers — has consistently been held up by the administration as a resounding success.

With Iraq near chaos 3 1/2 years later, a key Army manual now is being rewritten in a way that rejects the Rumsfeld doctrine and counsels against using it again.

The draft version of the Army’s Full Spectrum Operations field manual argues that in addition to defeating the enemy, military units must focus on providing security for the population–even during the heat of a major combat operation.

“The big idea here is that stability tasks have to be a consideration at every level and every operation,” said Clinton Ancker III, head of the Army’s Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate and an author of the guide.

The field manual is the authoritative guidebook on how to conduct ground operations, which officers use to develop tactics for military endeavors, including war, counterinsurgency and peacekeeping. When completed, the manual will be taught to officers at all levels.

Before the war, Rumsfeld prodded Gen. Tommy Franks and others to design an invasion plan to fit his beliefs about how modern militaries should fight. When Saddam Hussein’s regime collapsed and Baghdad seemed to fall in just 21 days, Rumsfeld and his emphasis on speed over mass got the credit.

But after the initial military success, the Pentagon was criticized for not doing enough to plan for postwar stability. And Rumsfeld drew objections for his dismissive attitude toward the disorder and looting in Iraq, particularly when he said, just days after Baghdad’s fall, that “stuff happens” in democracies.


“Iraq is the hardest test case you can dream up,” said Michael Burke, who works at the doctrine directorate and is one of the manual’s authors. “There is a lot of value in overwhelming your enemy and ending intensive combat.” But, he added: “In Iraq, military operations were the catalyst for collapsing the Baathist regime and leaving a complete power vacuum.”

Read it here.

* Note: DoD = Down on Don; when is that trial in Germany going to start, anyway?

This entry was posted in RagBlog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *