John Abizaid is the new George McClellan

John Abizaid George McClellan
General John Abizaid General George McClellan

Senator McCain just asked the CENTCOM Commander, General John Abizaid, why he opposed sending more American troops to Iraq. Abizaid’s reply:

I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.

President Bush says that he wants to finish the job in Iraq. Fine. But it’s now obvious that refusing to adapt our strategy to defeat the rising sectarian militias would be foolish. At least if we adopt the Democratic cut and run policy, we’ll stop losing troops in Iraq. Now, I oppose cutting and running for obvious reasons. But pinning our hopes on the Iraqi military and police forces now, before they’re ready, is just another way of ensuring defeat.
We ought to send more troops to Iraq as soon as possible, and their primary mission should be to kill the leaders and members of every militia, jihadist cell, and Baathist insurgent group in Iraq. Wars are won by applying overwhelming force, not by trying to field just enough troops to do the job. Abizaid advocates standing pat with current strategy. He’s wrong. President Bush should fire him and find someone who will fight.
Once upon a time, another Republican President faced an unpopular and protracted war, and his top general refused to engage the enemy. Frustrated, the President wrote a letter to the general:

My Dear McClellan:
If you are not using the army, I should like to borrow it for a short while.
Yours respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln eventually fired George McClellan and found two generals who attacked the enemy and won the Civil War: Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. McClellan retired and ran against Lincoln for President as (what a shock) a Democrat. Thank God that McClellan lost.
Today we need a new Sherman or Grant or Patton. President Bush should find a real fighter who will ignore the media’s whining and the Democrats’ sniping. John Abizaid is not that man.

More blogging:
Jeff Emanuel
Dan McLaughlin
“Thomas” (very pessimistic)

11/16 Update: Rush Limbaugh accurately identifies Abizaid’s strategy as “stay the course.”

  1. I served in 1st 75th Ranger Battalion the same time Abizaid did, and I must concur. He has lost the Ranger fight and it’s time he left. He should have been gone long before Rumsfeld.

  2. What’s funny to me is the way right- and left-wing blogs are cherry picking Abizaid’s comments to bolster their own preconceptions. Conservatives cheer his opposition to withdrawal, and liberals cheer his opposition to any increase in troop levels.
    Nobody seems to notice that he’s actually chosen the third (and worst) option: shuffle what we’ve got. Talk about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
    It’s time for Abizaid (and every general who shares his “strategy”) to go.

  3. Agreed. I did not agree, however, for a long time. Now I see that no one knows what the heck is going on over there. Great points.
    I would like to add just one thing: Our men are doing many fantastic things! 😉
    PS. TypeKey informed me that you do not have the proper usage of them, and they wanted me to let you know. Maybe you could take it up with them to find out
    what they’re talking about?

  4. I’m not going to comment on the strategy because—probably just like all of you—I’m insufficiently knowledgeable about the actual situation. I will say, however, that the headline is bizarre; unlike Abizaid, McClellan continually cried for more troops.
    Instead, I’ll nominate a candidate for our biggest recent mistake: not attacking Hezbollah from the back while Israel was going after them frontwise. We owe that outfit a big debt, and it’s past time to pay up.

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