October 23, 2009

US general/hero blasts Cheney over 'dithering' comment

National Security Senior Adviser Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), who served more than 30 years in the United States Army and oversaw the training of the Iraqi military, responded to Mr Five Deferments’ accusations on Afghanistan. Here it is, in its entirety:

The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters.

They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it. 2. Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11.

The only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy ‘experts’ have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy. While President Obama is tasked with cleaning up the considerable mess they left behind, they continue to defend torture or rewrite a legacy of indifference on Afghanistan. Simply put, Mr. Cheney sees history throughout extremely myopic and partisan eyes.

As one deeply invested in the Armed Forces of this country, I am grateful for the senior military commanders assigned to leading this fight and the men and women fighting on the ground. But I dismiss men like Cheney who inject partisan politics into the profound deliberations our Commander-in-Chief and commanders on the ground are having to develop a cohesive and comprehensive strategy, bringing to bear the economic and diplomatic as well as the military power, for Afghanistan -- something Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld never did.

No human endeavor can be as profound as sending a nation’s youth to war. I am very happy to see serious men and women working hard to get it right.