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Thread: Cobra II

  1. #21
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Washington, Texas

    Thumbs down Cobra II

    The reviewer overlooks contrary information within Cobra II to his thesis. For example the size of the force for the operation grows significatly during the various iterations of the war plan.

    He also overrates the fedayeen and their speed bump on the way to Baghdad, and makes the same false assumption as the authors about the future course of the war. It is clear from the post war studies and debriefing of Iraqi leadership that they had no plan for a fedayeen style insurgency. In fact they did not plan to lose and start using irregular forces. The insurgency was a response to the loss by three categories of people inside and outside Iraq, the former regime elements, the Iraqi rejectionist, and al Qaeda which already had a foothold in the country.

    He also overstates the significance of the declaration on the end of major combat operations. That declaration had everything to do with telling those countries that had pledged post war help in Iraq that it was time to come through. In fact, if you look at the President's speech he clearly talks about the work that still needed to be done in Iraq. If anything it indicated too much deference to getting international involvement in Iraq.

    While the book compiles some interesting data about the war, it also omits data inconsistent with its themes which makes it more of a one sided brief than a fair rendering of history.

    Its biggest flaw is that it does not address the representation to the President by the same people who were sources for the book, that they were pleased with the plan and that they had been given everthing they needed to win. To put it bluntly, were these people misleading the President or were they trying to cover their backsides with the authors? Another question also arises from the assertions about the Secretary of Defense. If he did not have confidence in the advice that these men were giving him, how is it that many of them were promoted and went on to important jobs.

    I think that it is also terribly unfair to label people who agree with a policy compliant rather than addressing their arguments in favor of that policy. I have seen no evidence in the book or elsewhere that Gen. Myers did not believe in the plan and just went along with it. To suggest that he was merely compliant is just an insulting way of dealing with a difference of opinion. However, to tell the President that you approve of the plan and have everything you need to win, when you really do not believe that, approaches something beyond compliant.

  2. #22
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Roswell, USA


    I thought this was a good book. My only complaint is that they followed up on the disposition of the remains of SGT Robert Stever at Objective Curley but did not follow up on the remains of SFC John Marshall, which is an entire story of its own. Both were KIA by direct RPG fire on their way to make it to Objective Curley on the supply run. This makes me wonder if they didn't follow up on other matters as well. In fact, it makes me suspicious that they didn't follow up on other important details as well.


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