The military’s former top operations officer expresses regret that he did not more closely question the rationale for invading Iraqi, and urges active-duty officers to speak out.


N.Y. Times:

Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out By THOM SHANKER

WASHINGTON, April 9 — The three-star Marine Corps general who was the military’s top operations officer before the invasion of Iraq expressed regret, in an essay published Sunday, that he did not more energetically question those who had ordered the nation to war. He also urged active-duty officers to speak out now if they had doubts about the war.

Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who retired in late 2002, also called for replacing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and “many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach.” He is the third retired senior officer in recent weeks to demand that Mr. Rumsfeld step down.

In the essay, in this week’s issue of Time magazine, General Newbold wrote, “I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat — Al Qaeda.”

The decision to invade Iraq, he wrote, “was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions — or bury the results.”

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