Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "The plan at that time was to quickly draw down the American troop presence in Iraq until they numbered about 30,000 by the fall of 2003. Needless to say, the fall of 2003 is pretty much now.
Just think how wide of the mark these guys were.
Not that any of this was a surprise, of course. Just before the outbreak of war, then-Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki told a Senate committee that he thought 'something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers' would be necessary to pacify and stabilize post-war Iraq.
He had some experience. He'd led the peace-keeping operation in Bosnia. And he'd dedicated much of his tenure as Chief of Staff to preparing the Army for peace-keeping and other non-traditional and low-intensity combat deployments.
A few days later Paul Wolfowitz went up to the Hill and said Shinseki had no idea what he was talking about. His estimate was 'wildly off the mark,' Wolfowitz said.
Obviously it was Wolfowitz who had no clue what he was talking about. "
And, of course, Wolfowitz still has his job. Shinseiki doesn't. The hazards of an administration that prefers "agreeable" to "true."