Archive Logo.jpg

September 27, 2006

Burying Clausewitz.

Ry - this post's for you. Clausewitz in Wonderland.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment head towards an ancient caravansary in Hana Qadim, Iraq, to conduct a search Sept. 8, 2006. The search is being conducted in order to assure that insurgents do not use the structure as a hiding place for weapons caches. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eli J. Medellin) (Released)

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment head towards an ancient caravansary in Hana Qadim, Iraq, to conduct a search Sept. 8, 2006. The search is being conducted in order to assure that insurgents do not use the structure as a hiding place for weapons caches. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eli J. Medellin) (Released)

First, start off with Ralph Peters in Armed Forces Journal:

The hearts-and-minds myth Sorry, but winning means killing By Ralph Peters Mastering the languages, cultural nuances, beliefs and taboos that prevail in a theater of war, area of operations or tactical environment is vital to military success. It's much easier to kill people you understand.

Beyond that, cultural insights ease routine operations and negotiations, the training of local forces and the development of intelligence. Environmental mastery helps us avoid making unnecessary enemies. But that is where the advantages end in conflicts of blood and faith: No amount of cultural sensitivity inculcated in U.S. troops will persuade fanatic believers to discard their religion, nor can any amount of American empathy change a foreign thug's ethnic identity.

Frustrated with the difficulties facing us in Iraq after being denied both adequate troop strength and the authority to impose the rule of law in the initial days of our occupation, U.S. military commanders responded with a variety of improvisations, from skillful "kinetic ops" to patient dialogue. Nothing achieved enduring results — because we never had the resources or the fortitude to follow any effort through to the end, and our enemies had no incentive to quit, surrender or cooperate. We pacified cities with force but lacked the forces to keep them pacified. We rebuilt schools, but our enemies taught us how easy it was to kill teachers. Accepting that it was politically impossible on the home front, we never conducted the essential first step in fighting terrorists and insurgents: We failed to forge a long-term plan based on a long-term commitment. Instead, we sought to dissuade fanatics and undo ancient rivalries with stopgap measures, intermittent drizzles of money and rules of engagement tailored to suit the media, not military necessity.

It is astonishing that our efforts have gone as well as they have.

Read the rest here.

Then, shift over to Tony Corn, writing in Policy Review:

“Amateurs talk about strategy, professionals talk about logistics.” In the five years since the 9/11 events, the old military adage has undergone a “transformation” of its own: Amateurs, to be sure, continue to talk about strategy, but real professionals increasingly talk about — anthropology.

In Iraq as in Afghanistan, real professionals have learned the hard way that — to put it in a nutshell — the injunction “Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself” matters more than the bookish “Know Thy Clausewitz” taught in war colleges. Know thy enemy: At the tactical and operational levels at least, it is anthropology, not Clausewitzology, that will shed light on the grammar and logic of tribal warfare and provide the conceptual weapons necessary to return fire. Know thyself: It is only through anthropological “distanciation” that the U.S. military (and its various “tribes”: Army, Navy, etc.) will become aware of its own cultural quirks — including a monomaniacal obsession with Clausewitz — and adapt its military culture to the new enemy.1

The first major flaw of U.S. military culture is of course “technologism” — this uniquely American contribution to the phenomenon known to anthropologists as “animism.” Infatuation with technology has led in the recent past to rhetorical self-intoxication about Network-Centric Warfare and the concomitant neglect of Culture-Centric Warfare. The second structural flaw is a Huntingtonian doctrine of civil-military relations ideally suited for the Cold War but which, given its outdated conception of “professionalism,” has outlived its usefulness and is today a major impediment to the necessary constant dialogue between the military and civilians.2

Last but not least, the third major flaw is “strategism.” At its “best,” strategism is synonymous with “strategy for strategy’s sake,” i.e., a self-referential discourse more interested in theory-building (or is it hair-splitting?) than policy-making. Strategism would be innocuous enough were it not for the fact that, in the media and academia, “realism” today is fast becoming synonymous with “absence of memory, will, and imagination”: in that context, the self-referentiality of the strategic discourse does not exactly improve the quality of the public debate. At its worst, strategism confuses education with indoctrination, and scholarship with scholasticism; in its most extreme form, it comes close to being an “intellectual terrorism” in the name of Clausewitz.

Chewy stuff in here. Clausewitz in Wonderland, by Tony Corn, in Policy Review.

Ry - you say I'm doing God's Work with tongue-in-cheek... but, in that I study the impacts of technologism... in some respects, I do.

Discuss among yourselves. Not what I do - what these guys are saying.

Cleaning up details. Having gone through and finally had a chance to read what retired Generals Batiste and Eaton, retired Colonel Hammes had to say to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee that Ry linked to yesterday in the H&I - I decided to take the transcript and post it below the fold - since it relates, in a couple of ways, to what is above the fold. Too bad I don't trust the Dems to walk the walk on this issue. Their senior leadership just isn't serious - however flawed the Republicans are on this issue, not leaving much of a choice.

John R.S. Batiste

Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)

September 25, 2006

My name is John Batiste. I left the military on principle on November 1, 2005, after more than 31 years of service. I walked away from promotion and a promising future serving our country. I hung up my uniform because I came to the gut-wrenching realization that I could do more good for my soldiers and their families out of uniform. I am a West Point graduate, the son and son-in-law of veteran career soldiers, a two-time combat veteran with extensive service in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq, and a life-long Republican. Bottom line, our nation is in peril, our Department of Defense's leadership is extraordinarily bad, and our Congress is only today, more than five years into this war, beginning to exercise its oversight responsibilities. This is all about accountability and setting our nation on the path to victory. There is no substitute for victory and I believe we must complete what we started in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Donald Rumsfeld is not a competent wartime leader. He knows everything, except "how to win." He surrounds himself with like-minded and compliant subordinates who do not grasp the importance of the principles of war, the complexities of Iraq, or the human dimension of warfare. Secretary Rumsfeld ignored 12 years of U.S. Central Command deliberate planning and strategy, dismissed honest dissent, and browbeat subordinates to build "his plan," which did not address the hard work to crush the insurgency, secure a post-Saddam Iraq, build the peace, and set Iraq up for self-reliance. He refused to acknowledge and even ignored the potential for the insurgency, which was an absolute certainty. Bottom line, his plan allowed the insurgency to take root and metastasize to where it is today. Our great military lost a critical window of opportunity to secure Iraq because of inadequate troop levels and capability required to impose security, crush a budding insurgency, and set the conditions for the rule of law in Iraq. We were undermanned from the beginning, lost an early opportunity to secure the country, and have yet to regain the initiative. To compensate for the shortage of troops, commanders are routinely forced to manage shortages and shift coalition and Iraqi security forces from one contentious area to another in places like Baghdad, An Najaf, Tal Afar, Samarra, Ramadi, Fallujah, and many others. This shifting of forces is generally successful in the short term, but the minute a mission is complete and troops are redeployed back to the region where they came from, insurgents reoccupy the vacuum and the cycle repeats itself. Troops returning to familiar territory find themselves fighting to reoccupy ground which was once secure. We are all witnessing this in Baghdad and the Al Anbar Province today. I am reminded of the myth of Sisyphus. This is no way to fight a counter-insurgency. Secretary Rumsfeld's plan did not set our military up for success.

Secretary Rumsfeld's dismal strategic decisions resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women, our allies, and the good people of Iraq. He was responsible for America and her allies going to war with the wrong plan and a strategy that did not address the realities of fighting an insurgency. He violated fundamental principles of war, dismissed deliberate military planning, ignored the hard work to build the peace after the fall of Saddam Hussein, set the conditions for Abu Ghraib and other atrocities that further ignited the insurgency, disbanded Iraqi security force institutions when we needed them most, constrained our commanders with an overly restrictive de-Ba'athification policy, and failed to seriously resource the training and equipping of the Iraqi security forces as our main effort. He does not comprehend the human dimension of warfare. The mission in Iraq is all about breaking the cycle of violence and the hard work to change attitudes and give the Iraqi people alternatives to the insurgency. You cannot do this with precision bombs from 30,000 feet. This is tough, dangerous, and very personal work. Numbers of boots on the ground and hard-won relationships matter. What should have been a deliberate victory is now an uncertain and protracted challenge.

Secretary Rumsfeld built his team by systematically removing dissension. America went to war with "his plan" and to say that he listens to his generals is disingenuous. We are fighting with his strategy. He reduced force levels to unacceptable levels, micromanaged the war, and caused delays in the approval of troop requirements and the deployment process, which tied the hands of commanders while our troops were in contact with the enemy. At critical junctures, commanders were forced to focus on managing shortages rather than leading, planning, and anticipating opportunity. Through all of this, our Congressional oversight committees were all but silent and not asking the tough questions, as was done routinely during both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. Our Congress shares responsibility for what is and is not happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our nation's treasure in blood and dollars continues to be squandered under Secretary Rumsfeld's leadership. Losing one American life due to incompetent war planning and preparation is absolutely unacceptable. The work to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime was a challenge, but it pales in comparison to the hard work required to build the peace. The detailed deliberate planning to finish the job in Iraq was not considered as Secretary Rumsfeld forbade military planners from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq. At one point, he threatened to fire the next person who talked about the need for a post-war plan. Our country and incredible military were not set up for success.

Our country has yet to mobilize for a protracted, long war. I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the Administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld failed to address the full range of requirements for this effort, and the result is one percent of the population shouldering the burdens, continued hemorrhaging of our national treasure in terms of blood and dollars, an Army and Marine Corps that will require tens of billions of dollars to reset after we withdraw from Iraq, the majority of our National Guard brigades no longer combat-ready, a Veterans Administration which is underfunded by over $3 billion, and America arguably less safe now than it was on September 11, 2001. If we had seriously laid out and considered the full range of requirements for the war in Iraq, we would likely have taken a different course of action that would have maintained a clear focus on our main effort in Afghanistan, not fueled Islamic fundamentalism across the globe, and not created more enemies than there were insurgents.

What do we do now? We are where we are, plagued by the mistakes of the past. Thankfully, we are Americans and with the right leadership, we can do anything. First, the American people need to take charge through their elected officials. Secretary Rumsfeld and the Administration are fighting a war in secret that threatens our democratic values. This needs to stop right now, today. Second, we must replace Secretary Rumsfeld and his entire inner circle. We deserve leaders whose judgment and instinct we can all trust. Third, we must mobilize our country for a protracted challenge, which must include conveying the "what, why, and how long" to every American, rationing to finance the totality of what we are doing, and gearing up our industrial base in a serious manner. Mortgaging our future at the rate of $1.5 billion a week and financing our great Army and Marine Corps with supplemental legislation must stop. Americans will rally behind this important cause when the rationale is properly laid out. Fourth, we must rethink our Iraq strategy. "More of the same" is not a strategy, nor is it working. This new strategy must include serious consideration of federalizing the country, other forms of Iraqi national conscription and incentives to modify behavior, and a clear focus on training and equipping the Iraqi security forces as "America's main effort." Fifth, we must fix our inter-agency process to completely engage and synchronize all elements of America's national power. Unity of effort is fundamental and we need one person in charge in Iraq who pulls the levers with all U.S. Government agencies responding with 110 percent effort. Finally, we need to get serious about mending our relationships with allies and getting closer to our friends and enemies. America can not go this alone. All of this is possible, but we need leadership and responsible Congressional oversight to pull this off.

I challenge the American people to get informed and speak out. Remember that the Congress represents and works for the people. Congressional oversight committees have been strangely silent for too long, and our elected officials must step up to their responsibilities or be replaced. This is not about partisan politics, but rather what is good for our country. Our November elections are crucial. Every American needs to understand the issues and cast his or her vote. I believe that one needs to vote for the candidate who understands the issues and who has the moral courage to do the harder right rather than the easier wrong. I for one will continue to speak out until there is accountability, until the American people establish momentum, and until our Congressional oversight committees kick into action. Victory in Iraq is fundamental and we cannot move forward until accountability is achieved. Thank you.

* * *

Paul D. Eaton

Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)

September 25, 2006

My name is Paul D. Eaton and I retired from the United States Army on January 1, 2006, in the grade of Major General. From June 2003 until June 2004, I was the Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT) in Iraq, charged with rebuilding the Iraqi Army.

I will not debate the wisdom of going to war in Iraq. The President issued his broad policy guidance, electing to use force of arms, and left execution-level detail to his Secretary of Defense with serious implications for the United States and our allies. The nation went to war and the war is ongoing, prosecuted by the nation's best and brightest in all ranks, my two sons among them. We very much need to succeed.

I will discuss at length the history of the work to stand up Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in the largely ignored year one, the competencies of those charged with the prosecution of this war, and those remedies I believe necessary to achieve success.

Setting the Stage

The most important function of government is to assure the security of the governed. Iraqis believe the same and observed to me that it is "better to live for 40 years under a dictatorship with order than 40 days of chaos." The United States has failed to secure the peace after having artfully changed the Iraqi regime. We went in with a bad plan. We have failed to understand the strategic, operational and tactical levels of warfare in Iraq, and are responsible for the current state of affairs in a country the size of California with a population of 27 million souls. The leadership that has lead us to this point fails today to understand the strategic planning requirements to solve the Iraqi dilemma, stating essentially that their strategy is to stand up Iraqi Security Forces and to withdraw U.S. forces. Stay the course is not a strategy.

For the U.S. now, viable Iraqi Security Forces -- read "Iraqi security" -- is not a strategy; it is the end state, the objective. The strategy is in the "how" to get to the objective. It is basic military planning to identify the objective first, and then to develop the operational lines that will enable the achievement of the objective. The failure to properly lay out objective and operational lines for Phase IV has lead to lost time, resources and the loss of diplomatic and political capital. Most importantly, it has presented the opportunity for the insurgency to flourish with the ensuing sectarian violence, in the security vacuum Mr. Rumsfeld allowed to develop -- with a very high human toll.

The Beginning

Much has been written and spoken about the insufficient troop strength to manage Phase IV of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and the lonely position taken by then Chief of Staff, General Shinseki, who called for several hundred thousand soldiers -- not for the defeat of the Iraqi Army, rather for post-conflict work. Phase IV planning was amateurish at best, incompetent a better descriptor. This planning reflected the Rumsfeld dogma of using just enough troops for a precarious Phase III. Phase IV planning failed to identify the end state and the means of getting there. The critical component, the establishment of the New Iraqi Army, consisted of a two-page Powerpoint briefing developed by General Franks and approved by Mr. Rumsfeld. The key points of the briefing were that the Iraqi Army would be volunteer and representative of Iraq's population; would restrict recruiting to avoid political and criminal undesirables; and would be trained by corporate trainers, not Soldiers. The goal was to develop nine light motorized Infantry battalions the first year, eighteen more the next year.

While serving as the Commanding General of the Infantry Center at Fort Benning, I was given the order to go to Iraq to create the Army on May 9, 2003, one week after the President's speech aboard aircraft carrier Lincoln. To state the obvious, a very late order. I spent the next three weeks in meetings with my future boss, Mr. Walt Slocombe, and my team at Fort Benning to lay out the way ahead.

I reported to Baghdad on June 13, 2003, and met with Colonel Roland Tiso and four other men borrowed from the CENTCOM staff to craft the future of Iraq's Army. The Joint Manning Document (JMD), the document that would provide me a staff of 248, would not begin to be filled until October, and would never hit the 50% mark. Between June and October 2003, I relied upon a revolving door of volunteers and men and women on loan from other staffs for between two and six weeks, dependent upon their donor unit.

It was immediately clear to all of us that we were an economy-of-force operation, a very low Department of Defense priority. Efforts to establish alliances by reaching back to the United States met with indifference at all levels. As the Coalition Provisional Authority became increasingly challenged, my operation became increasingly isolated from U.S. Armed Forces. Our allies stepped into the breach - I am very grateful to Great Britain, Australia, Spain, Jordan, Poland, Italy, and Romania for their very talented soldiers and their country's assistance. Iraqis would very soon join my staff with superb results.

In the first two weeks, we identified the training location, let the contracts to build out the barracks, contracted the training to the Vinnell Corporation, found the uniforms and weapons and designed the Iraqi Army. Recruiting the Army began on July 7, 2003, and training began upon completion of a battalion set of barracks, on August 2, 2003. We were directed to avoid use of U.S. military assets at all costs, and to use Iraqi sources for all equipment possible. Our budget was $173 million for year one, with the objective to create nine battalions.

Two weeks into training it became obvious that we had a flawed plan -- we needed soldiers to train the Iraqi Army, not contracted civilians, regardless of their competence and stellar prior-military backgrounds. We set out to change Secretary Rumsfeld's plan.

I traveled to Jordan to set up a potential equipment buy, but found another opportunity. The Jordanian Army is the most professional Arab Army and was willing to assist. We set up a plan whereby the Jordanian Army would retrain officers from the old Iraqi Army for 10 weeks, exposing them to a professional Army, under the British model, with strong leader competencies. Those men in turn would receive non-commissioned officers trained by coalition forces at our training base in Kirkush, Iraq, and create the cadre that would train Iraqi recruits. Iraqi veterans training Iraqi soldiers under the oversight of ten-man Coalition Support Teams (CST) per battalion of Iraqi Soldiers. This is really the U.S. COHORT model of unit development.

I briefed this plan, essentially a second phase in my operation based upon a requirement to adapt, to Mr. Rumsfeld on September 5, 2003, and got his approval to proceed with an accelerated adapted plan that would produce an army of 27 battalions and associated command and control, from national to squad in the first year, and start the Navy and Air Force, with a budget of $2.2 Billion. We laid out our basing plan for the Iraqi Armed Forces and the architecture for the three services. At one point the Secretary stuck his finger at me and said, "Just don't make this look like the American Army." Still don't know what he meant. He also stated that we were his last priority, behind Police, Border Troops, Iraqi National Guard or Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC), and Facilities Protection Service (FPS).

That "last priority" comment would prove interesting. We had a superb team of men and women who knew exactly how to man, train and equip an Army; a budget of $2.2 Billion and a huge manpower pool from which to draw an Army. I would discover later that priority one -- the Iraqi police -- was an unfolding disaster.

We began to implement the plan aggressively with the arrival of the $18 Billion supplemental that held our budget, sustained a serious setback with the Pentagon rejection of the equipment contract and another when Mr. Wolfowitz withheld $253 Million destined to build out a division's set of barracks. The Deputy Secretary was reportedly unhappy with the development of the Iraqi Police and held these funds hostage. I did not yet have responsibility for the Police. These decisions would delay unit development for several months.

In February, Mr. Wolfowitz sent then-Major General Karl Eikenberry to assess ISF development. His conclusions were that the Iraqi Armed Forces were on track, but that Police and Border Troops were not. He ordered that money and personnel should be diverted from my operation to support police development. A zero-sum game.

The result became what would be my third phase of ISF development. I reconfigured my headquarters to become the Office of Security Cooperation (OSC), with two subordinate headquarters, CMATT and CPATT, or Civil Police Assistance Training Team. I gained 23 men from Steve Casteel and a new British Brigadier to head up CPATT. On March 9, 2004, I was now charged with development of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Iraqi National Guard, Iraqi Police, Border troops and Facilities Protection Service.

Our initial assessment revealed a stunning lack of progress, a failure to understand the man, train and equip functions, an unworkable command and control network, a logistics and administration system that didn't work -- in short, a national police and border force that were in complete disarray, ill-equipped, and with untrained leadership in dysfunctional facilities. We had a lot of work to do -- we had lost nine months.

General McCaffrey's recent report reveals that Iraqi Security Forces, the second most important security forces on the planet after our own, continue to lack fundamental equipment. The Secretary of Defense has failed to resource his main effort, the objective to stand up the ISF enabling us to withdraw U.S. forces.

The Man in Charge

The President charged Secretary Rumsfeld to prosecute this war, a man who has proven himself incompetent strategically, operationally, and tactically. Mr. Rumsfeld came into his position with an extraordinary arrogance, and an agenda -- to turn the military into a lighter, more lethal armed force. In fact, Rumsfeld's vision is a force designed to meet a Warsaw Pact type force more effectively.

We are not fighting the Warsaw Pact. We are fighting an insurgency, a distributed low-tech, high-concept war that demands greater numbers of ground forces, not fewer. Mr. Rumsfeld won't acknowledge this fact and has failed to adapt to the current situation. He has tried and continues to fight this war on the cheap.

I decided to write my New York Times op-ed piece critical of Mr. Rumsfeld, printed March 19, 2006, after I read the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The QDR is a flawed document that represents a poor compromise, reducing the size of ground forces at the moment we need to mobilize far greater ground combat units. It was clear that the architect of the mistakes of the past continued to make flawed decisions that would have an even more lasting impact on the security of the nation. Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision making by the President's most visible cabinet member. Allow me to offer a recent quote from David Brooks of The New York Times: "When asked if he should have expanded the military back in 2003, to give the current commanders more manpower, Bush used words that were uncharacteristically jargon-ridden: 'The notion of warfare has changed, and therefore, we're modulizing (sic) the army so that it becomes more operational and easier to move.' That sounds more like a transformation briefing paper than the president."

The President is not well served by his Secretary of Defense, a man history will not handle kindly.

The Way Ahead

So, what to do?

Replace the Secretary of Defense with a proven leader who has the vision to get the country's defense establishment back on track. The Army is under strength and its equipment is in terrible shape. A Secretary who understands how to build alliances at home and abroad. Who understands the operational art and understands the contemporary operating environment.

We need a "Manhattan Project" to resource the development of the ISF-- more and better equipment, triple the 4,000 advisor complement in Iraq. Work all the operational lines to achieve success here. We need a bipartisan commission with complete transparency to deliver a series of recommendations to the President that leadership on both sides of the aisle can endorse. This is not a purely military problem -- the interagency process must be brought to bear. This conflict should be as important to each of our President's cabinet members as it is to the Soldiers who fight this war.

The war on terror demands we mobilize the country and significantly increase the size of our ground forces. We cannot allow Iran to become the hegemon of the Gulf, fearless in the face of a United States that has culminated at the ground combat force level.

The President's decision to depart from containment and to finish a war that Saddam started in 1990 can be challenged and will be for a long time. We can debate the mistakes of the past, the nobility of the venture, and the improbability of success. But we will all be better off to help this Administration through its last two years by forcing upon it the remedies needed for victory.

* * *

Colonel Thomas X. Hammes

U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

September 25, 2006

Mr. Chairman and distinguished members, it is an honor and a privilege to participate in the discussion of what may be the most important security matter of this generation. I will not discuss the mistakes that brought us to this point in Iraq, but rather focus on what we must do if we wish to achieve success. Any discussion of what I perceive to be mistakes will be only to provide context for the subsequent recommendations.

Our removal of the Saddam Regime introduced major instability not just in Iraq, but in the greater Middle East. For generations, historians will argue why. For our purposes, we simply have to accept it as a fact. We are where we are and cannot go back. We must bring a stable, friendly government to Iraq. Failure will be a strategic defeat with a loss of power in the Middle East of such magnitude that our children will be struggling to recover from it. Thus we have to answer one fundamental question: how do we accomplish the goal of a stable, united, friendly Iraq? Frankly, neither the Administration's approach of staying the course nor the various proposals for an announced, time-phased withdrawal will accomplish that goal.

On the positive side, our strategy for Iraq, as expressed by Ambassador Khalizad and General Casey, is solid. "Clear-Hold-Build" is a sound approach for counterinsurgency. While the character of insurgency has changed significantly in the last 30 years, the fact remains that it can only be defeated by good governance. The first step, security for the people, is the fundamental responsibility of any government. If we fail to provide that security, nothing else matters. Only when people are secure in their daily lives do they have the freedom to support their government. The "Clear" and "Hold" steps of our strategy address that issue. The "Build" phase addresses the other basic requirement of good governance - providing the people with hope for a better future. However, it must be their view of a better future, not ours.

Given this well thought-out strategy, it is particularly distressing that the Administration has failed to resource any part of it. The Administration has repeatedly stated that war in Iraq is critical to security of the United States, yet it has asked nothing of the majority of U.S. citizens. While asking major sacrifices, to include the ultimate sacrifice, from those Americans who are serving in Iraq, we are not even asking our fellow citizens to pay for the war - instead we are charging it to our children and grandchildren. In short, the burden has fallen on the less than one percent of Americans who have served in Iraq. And we have not even provided them with sufficient personnel, equipment or resources to accomplish their mission. The disconnect between our rhetoric and our actions is astonishing.

To move forward in Iraq, we have to achieve three things:

Create unity of effort across all U.S. agencies and contractors.

Put the U.S. Government on a wartime footing.

Truly make supporting the Iraqi government and security forces our priority effort.

The first requirement in fighting an insurgency is unity of effort. To date, the Administration has refused to empower one individual to cut through the bureaucratic infighting and focus our effort in Iraq. As a result, the U.S. civil, military and contractor efforts are poorly coordinated and at times seem to be working at cross purposes. The lack of unity on our part makes it even more difficult to unify the fractious efforts of the new Iraqi government. Given the stove-piped nature of our bureaucracy and the diverse range of contractors we have chosen to employ in Iraq, achieving this unity will be difficult. Historically, successful unity of effort comes from placing a single individual in charge of the effort in-country. In the U.S. system, this must be the ambassador. That individual is given guidance by the President and is genuinely his personal representative. Based on the President's guidance, the ambassador sets the policy, strategy and approach for all U.S. forces in-country. There can not be separate chains of command that the various elements of the U.S. effort can use to bypass the in-country authority. It must be made clear to all U.S. personnel that bypassing the ambassador is cause for immediate relief.

Once the ambassador has the authority, he needs the right people. We need legislation now that does for the entire U.S. Government what Goldwater-Nichols did for the services. While it took a decade or more for the legislation to have its desired effect, Goldwater-Nichols forced us to learn to operate as a team. Since we know that insurgencies are measured in decades, not years, legislation passed now can provide critical assistance to the ambassador in coordinating U.S. efforts. Such legislation must go beyond what Goldwater-Nichols did for the services. It must provide the career, monetary and disciplinary incentives that will allow our federal agencies to encourage and, if necessary, order the right personnel to serve overseas. Insurgencies cannot be defeated by military action. They require all elements of government. To date, we have failed to provide civilian personnel in sufficient numbers with the right expertise and maturity to advise the new Iraqi government.

Once unity of effort is established and personnel provided, we can then effectively focus resources on our Clear-Hold-Build strategy. The Administration has rightly stated that our number one priority is building the Iraqi security services. Yet it has failed to provide sufficient advisors or equipment for the Iraqi forces essential to the "Clear" and "Hold" efforts. More importantly, it has consistently failed to provide sufficient civilian expertise and presence for the essential "Build" element of the strategy.

It is clear that while the armed forces are at war, the nation as a whole, the U.S. Government and even the Pentagon itself are not. The U.S. Government, and the Pentagon in particular, have continued with business as usual. While some parts of the Pentagon are working exceptionally hard to support our forces in Iraq, the rest of the organization has continued its peacetime routine. I must note here that I have never served in the Pentagon so my observations are those of an outsider, unfamiliar with the internal operations of the Department of Defense and service staffs.

However, to an outsider, this failure to mobilize seems to be rooted in the Pentagon's continuing belief that this war will be short, and therefore we must not disturb the normal operations of the institution for what is perceived as a short-term commitment. Here is a prime example of paying lip service to the concept of a "long war" but not taking the actions that indicate we believe our own rhetoric. Our enemies and allies recognize this lack of seriousness. The simple act of making the war a genuine priority will greatly discourage our enemies and encourage our allies. But our actions must match our deeds.

Simply put, the leadership has to failed acknowledge we are in a war and failed to act in a wide range of areas. Two of the most important are personnel policies and procurement policies.

The current U.S. Government personnel systems are actively hostile to a successful counterinsurgency effort. The current systems grew out of the personnel reforms of 1900 that were implemented by Secretary of War Elihu Root. These systems worked well for our forces in World War I and World War II, but were failing by the time of Korea and broke down badly in Vietnam. Insurgencies are long struggles by nature. The Chinese fought for twenty-seven years. The Vietnamese for thirty years. The Palestinians have been at it for almost forty years with no end in sight. Yet our military and civilian personnel policies still emphasize short tours with rapid rotation of key personnel. The cliché is that our military did not have ten years of experience in Vietnam, but one year of experience, ten times. Almost all thoughtful studies point to the enormous problems caused by the one-year tours. Unfortunately, those personnel polices have only gotten worse. Today a large number of our forces spend only three to seven months in country. And, of course, we still have no system to provide the language and cultural training essential to working effectively with the Iraqis.

The armed services have all the necessary authority to change our personnel policies. It is a failure of leadership and imagination that has prevented it. As in Vietnam, the military personnel system has simply refused to adjust to the reality on the ground. I have heard cynics say we would rather lose the war than change our personnel system.

As stated above, we need legislation now that provides the incentives to insure we have the right mix of civilian personnel necessary to provide effective advisors to the Iraqi civilian ministries. If incentives prove insufficient, we must grant all our federal departments the authority they need to order their personnel overseas. While this sounds harsh, it is necessary. Where this authority already exists, it must be used.

The Administration has stated repeatedly, and correctly, that only the Iraqis can win this war. Yet its actions again do not match its rhetoric. We still provide insufficient numbers of advisors, and too often advisors are treated as the second team in both the civilian and military worlds.

While we still have a long way to go, we have made significant improvements to the advisory system at the tactical level. Unfortunately, we have not done so well at levels above battalion. The key areas that need improvement are the size and the resources provided to the advisory teams. Currently we assign only ten men to a team. This is simply an insufficient number to provide the close contact the Iraqi Army needs to achieve full capability. Advisory teams should be 50-60 men per Iraqi battalion, with proportionate increases at every level above that. Further, we need to get serious about training for these personnel. The Army and Marine Corps currently provide short courses prior to deployment. In Vietnam, these courses lasted from six months to a year, to insure the advisors had at least a working knowledge of the language and a true understanding of the role of an advisor. Advising a unit is much more difficult than commanding one. A successful advisory tour should be an essential step on the path to promotion. Only our very best officers and non-commissioned officers should be selected, trained and deployed in these critical billets. In short, our military leadership must match its actions to its rhetoric.

On the civilian side, we have failed to provide both the numbers and experience necessary to assist the Iraqis in establishing functioning departments that provide the essential civil element of any counterinsurgency. In addition to effective legislation, it will require a major mental shift in the civilian agencies of the U.S. Government to emphasize providing these key personnel for our effort in Iraq.

Another critical problem area is procurement. Everyone is painfully aware of how long it took us to provide armored HMMWVs for our troops in Iraq. It took even longer to provide armored trucks. This is despite the fact that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were, and continue to be, the largest casualty producers in the conflict. Finally, three years after we encountered the first IEDs, we are nearing the point where we will have some form of armor for our forces. We are just beginning to provide the same for Iraqi forces. The Pentagon considers this a major achievement.

I find this amazing. Since the first IEDs exploded in the summer of 2003, we have known that there are better, safer vehicles available than the armored HMMWV. Yet we have made very little effort to provide them to our troops. The Pentagon has purchased M1117 Armored Security Vehicles, a vastly superior vehicle to the HMMWV. Yet over three years into the fight, we have procured only about 1,000 of these vehicles. While Katrina had a devastating impact on the one facility that produces these vehicles, I find it remarkable that a nation that could go from producing a few hundred planes per year to over 50,000 a year in three years at the beginning of WWII is still limited to 48 M1117's per month. In fact, U.S. industry can produce more and faster. The Administration has simply refused to dedicate the resources necessary to make it happen.

The M1117 Armored Security Vehicle is just one of a number of vehicles vastly superior to the armored HMMWV for the missions in Iraq. AM General, in partnership with the Turkisk firm Otokar, produces the Cobra using the HMMWV drive train and frame but with armored, boat-shaped hull that provides greatly improved protection from blast. Further, it can be equipped with a fully protected weapons turret. It can provide the smaller vehicle necessary to operate in many of the restricted urban areas in Iraq. In addition to purchasing these vehicles for U.S. forces, we should buy large numbers for the Iraqi Army. While we provide armored HMMWVs for most U.S. troops, we still expect our Iraqi allies to travel in open-backed trucks.

These two examples are symptoms of a much greater problem -- the Pentagon's refusal to act as if we are at war. Since World War II, America has prided itself on providing whatever its servicemen and women needed to get the job done. In this war, we have not. Our procurement has not only been slow, we have failed to buy the best available. Further, the Administration has categorically failed to maintain or replace the equipment necessary for the units in the U.S. to be ready for other potential operations. The Chief of Staff of the Army and Commandant of the Marine Corps have highlighted the fact their services need almost $30 billion just to reset the force, never mind procuring the better, more effective equipment currently available.

The American people have not refused to provide what our service people need, the Administration has refused to ask. It is essential that we fund both the backlogs and the new procurement on a wartime basis. We did not ask our soldiers to invade France in 1944 with the same armor they trained on in 1941. Why are we asking our soldiers and marines to use the same armor we found was insufficient in 2003? The failure to provide the best equipment is a serious moral failure on the part of our leadership. This brings me to my final point.

The critical issue is leadership. All of the suggestions I have made will not be carried out unless the leadership believes it needs to be done. Given the fact that the Secretary of Defense has not acknowledged the numerous, serious mistakes made to date, I do not believe it is possible for him to provide the leadership necessary to succeed in Iraq. It is time for him to provide the nation the last in a long series of services, and step down.

In conclusion, we have lost three critical years in the essential task of rebuilding Iraq. We need to take action now to make our effort match our strategy. If we are unwilling to do so, then we will fail.