View Full Version : Mogudishu a bad analogy

Merv Benson
05-30-2006, 03:14 PM
From PrairiePundit (http://prairiepundit.blogspot.com/2006/05/clinton-mogudishu-analogy-fails.html):

Rahm Emanuel has an opinion piece in the LA Times saying that Bush is responsible for not sending eneough troops to Iraq. He is off target on several counts.

ON OCT. 3, 1993, an American helicopter was shot down in Somalia. Efforts to rescue the downed pilots went terribly wrong, and 18 Americans were killed. It was a humiliating incident for the world's most powerful nation. It also devastated 18 American families. When President Clinton was told that his commanders on the ground had requested more troops but had been ignored by Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, Clinton acted decisively and fired him.


This president had the responsibility to direct the war but deferred to Rumsfeld. Congress had a constitutional responsibility to oversee the president's actions. Instead, it has spent the last three years on the sidelines, approving every funding request — nearly half a trillion dollars — no questions asked. The glaring mistakes made at every stage of the war were ignored in favor of feel-good speeches about staying the course. The retired generals are taking the unusual step of speaking up because for the last three years the Republican Congress has been silent.


What Emanual omits is not one of the eight generals he sites were commanders of the operations in Iraq. Both Bush and Rumsfeld followed the military advice of of the Centcom commanders, either Tommy Franks or John Abizaid in deciding the number of troops needed in Iraq. That is far different from the situation in Mogudishu where the advice of the commander was ignored. What is also different is that Clinton did not stick it out in Mogudishu and bin Laden read that as a lack of will that led him to believe he could do the 9-11 attacks. Clinton's lack of will to win led directly to 9-11, something Emanual would rather not talk about.

While a case can be made that more troops would have shortened the war in Iraq, the reasons for not doing it were based on a decision by the responsible commanders who were backed by Bush and Rumsfeld, both of whom said that if the military asks for more troops they will get them. Since the troop levels went up and down over the course of the war based on request from Centcom, there is every reason to believe what they said. The eight generals and some civilians disagree with the military judgment of Centcom commanders. They and Enamueal should not delegate that responsibility upward in order to make a political point.

05-30-2006, 07:20 PM
You might have a point about the ‘Black Hawk Down’ analogy - still - Cobra II makes a good point for front-ending more troops in 2003. Read it - it puts Frank's book American Soldier into a whole other light.

Merv Benson
05-31-2006, 02:04 PM
I am in the process of reading Cobra II, but so far have found nothing that refutes the transcript of the President talking with the component commanders that is presented in Tommy Franks American Soldier.

Before the order was given to commence combat operations in Iraq the President asked Franks and each of the component commanders individually the same questions.


... "General," he asked Buss Mosely, "do you have everything you need to win?"

"You bet Sir."

"Pleased with the strategy?" the President continued.

"Absolutely," Buzz answered.


Later the President said:

... "I am going to stop asking about the plan since you guys were the ones that developed it."

I heard laughter around the teleconference loop. The President had the natural leader's ability to put his subordinates at ease.

And , so it went around the room as each was asked the same questions and each responded as Mosely did. It should be noted that none of the people around that table have joined the intimidated generals club. In fact, Gen. Franks and Rifle DeLong have spoken out forcefully against the notion put forward by the members of that club. But the myth of interference with the plan will die as hard as the Shinseki myth. Some do not want to let facts get in the way of their feelings.

Emanual is just dead wrong.

The quotes are excerpts from this post (http://prairiepundit.blogspot.com/2006/05/this-post-from-april-18-2006-is-worth.html) which contains much more on the generals.