Ralph Peters a retired

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April 7, 2003 12:52 a.m.

Ralph Peters, a retired Army officer, had a good column on Saturday in the New York Post belying the claims of the Rumsfeld cheer-leading squad …

Unable to admit that errors of any kind might have been made in planning the war, OSD spokespersons engage in a combination of outright lies, attacks on critics and highly selective memories.

As far as events proceeding according to plan, well, if your plan is vague enough, with a sufficient number of “branches and sequels,” as the military puts it, even defeat might be presented as having been anticipated.

Fortunately, we are not faced with failure. The outcome of this war, if not the timing of that outcome, truly is not in doubt. But events did not proceed according to plan.

The much-heralded initial airstrikes failed and are now conveniently forgotten. The ground campaign assumed the lead from the first days of the war – which definitely was not according to the plan. And the number of ground forces permitted to the theater commander was inadequate by any honest measure.

These are some of the more choice comments. But read the whole thing because Peters lays out a strong and broad-ranging argument. And he speaks with authority.

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