Saturday, March 29, 2003

RUMSFELD DOCTRINE ON THE ROPES

GUARDIAN - With additional troops not likely to be in position before the middle of April, the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph report on a potential switch of tactics. The FT says that the coalition are still debating whether to head for the capital, Baghdad, or stay where they are for up to a month."So concerned are senior commanders that "Baghdad Lite" has failed," writes the Telegraph, "that they are even considering pausing and repeating the seven-week air campaign that preceded the 1991 Gulf war."The political fallout from these developments appears to be raining on one man, Donald Rumsfeld. While George Bush addressed the press at Camp David yesterday with a smile on his face (Andrew Grice in the Independent says the president reminded him of "a game show host rather than the commander-in-chief of a massive army in the Gulf"), Mr Rumsfeld's nerves are said to be showing."How does anyone outside government know what my views are?" the Independent reports Mr Rumsfeld as snapping, describing the "visible lines of strain" on the US secretary of defense's face.The Times reports that the Rumsfeld doctrine, of attacking Iraq quickly and with a minimal force, has proven invalid, scuppered by the fierce resistance of Iraqi troops in places such as Basra.The paper says that intelligence analysts had warned to expect such fighting, but the Pentagon ignored their concerns, preferring to heed advice that "seriously underestimated what to expect", according to one Whitehall source, who also said the US relied too heavily on "radio intercepts and satellite photography".

New Yorker: Rumsfeld Ignored Pentagon Advice on Iraq

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