Army Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, who retires in three weeks, said the Defense secretary threatened in 2003 to “fire the next person” who talked about the need for postwar planning for Iraq. Rumsfeld apparently knew such talk would create the perception that the U.S. would be there a long time.
This is big: It’s a current Army general saying this—albeit one who’s about to retire. And it confirms what outsiders (like journalists) have been reporting for some time.
Months before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps said Thursday.
In fact, said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, Rumsfeld said “he would fire the next person” who talked about the need for a post-war plan.
Rumsfeld did replace Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff in 2003, after Shinseki told Congress that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure post-war Iraq.