Here are the
first two grafs from Vernon Loeb's piece
in Sunday's Washington Post
Current and former U.S. military officers are blaming Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his aides for the inadequate troop strength on the ground in Iraq, saying the civilian leaders "micromanaged" the deployment plan out of mistrust of the generals and an attempt to prove their own theory that a light, maneuverable force could handily defeat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
More than a dozen officers interviewed, including a senior officer in Iraq, said Rumsfeld took significant risks by leaving key units in the United States and Germany at the start of the war. That resulted in an invasion force that is too small, strung out, underprotected, undersupplied and awaiting tens of thousands of reinforcements who will not get there for weeks.
Be sure to read the rest.
Here's the second graf of Rick Atkinson and Tom Ricks' piece in the Post ...
Top Army officers in Iraq say they now believe that they effectively need to restart the war. Before launching a major ground attack on Iraq's Republican Guard, they want to secure their supply lines and build up their own combat power. Some timelines for the likely duration of the war now extend well into the summer, they say.
Also, don't miss Jonathan Finer's excellent piece
on house-to-house sweeps by Marines looking for weapons. LATE UPDATE: Don't miss this new article
filed by Finer several hours later. It's the Marines on a similar mission but getting a better and more hopeful result by working through apparently cooperative village leaders -- an optimistic sign in some pretty dark days.