At a Democratic Senate forum Monday, several former U.S. generals and colonels called the secretary of defense incompetent in his prosecution of the Iraq war.
Watch the testimony of Major General John R.S. Batiste, a former senior military assistant to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and commander of the 1st Infantry Division, and who served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. (He explains why he retired from the service—and a promising career—“on principle” because of the way Rumsfeld was running the war.)
Watch the testimony of Major General Paul D. Eaton, who was responsible for training the Iraqi military from May 2003 to March 2004, and for rebuilding the Iraqi police force from March through June 2004.
Retired military officers on Monday bluntly accused Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public.
‘‘I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq,’’ retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste told a forum conducted by Senate Democrats.
A second military leader, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, assessed Rumsfeld as ‘‘incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically.’‘
‘‘Mr. Rumsfeld and his immediate team must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision-making,’’ Eaton added at the forum, held six weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, in which the war is a central issue.