Since the people who run the congress refuse to engage in oversight, the Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing yesterday on the Iraq War. Naturally, the press more-or-less entirely ignored this event, since people only report on the Democrats to mock them for being in “disarray” (exception: The San Francisco Chronicle did an article), but a variety of interesting things were said. Retired General John Batiste observed:
I believe that Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq. Rumsfeld failed to address the full range of requirements for this effort and the result is one percent of the population shouldering the burdens, continued hemorrhaging of our national treasure in terms of blood and dollars, an Army and Marine Corps which will require tens of billions of dollars to reset after we withdraw from Iraq, the majority of our National Guard brigades no longer combat ready, a Veterans Administration which is under funded by over $3 billion, and America arguably less safe now than it was on 9/11. If we had seriously laid out and considered the full range of requirements for the war in Iraq, we would likely have taken a different course of action which would have maintained a clear focus on our main effort in Afghanistan, not fueled Islamic fundamentalism across the globe, and not created more enemies than there were insurgents.
This seems correct to me. See also Fred Kaplan on how the Army’s crumbling as a result of the intersection of war.
UPDATE: Yikes, this is wrong. As per SCJ’s comment there was a bunch of MSM coverage this morning. I ran a Google News Search for “Democratic Policy Committee” that revealed little in terms of major outlet coverage (as opposed to progressive media outlets or specialty DC publications) but I obviously chose my search terms badly. Apologies. Interesting hearings nonetheless!