Friday, September 27, 2002

This Novak article should be read.

Tension between the military and civilians is kept private, but it is palpable. Many young officers heartily dislike Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. The top brass respects Donald Rumsfeld as a strong secretary without particularly liking him and certainly not fearing him. There will be no repeat of Vietnam 40 years ago, when career officers were so intimidated by Secretary Robert S. McNamara that they failed to challenge his illusions.

The way Rumsfeld killed the proposed Crusader artillery system was deeply painful to the Army, but officers have saluted sharply and moved on. What lingers is resentment over the lack of U.S. cannon artillery four months ago in Operation Anaconda against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, when enemy mortar fire killed seven American troopers.

Last week, 105mm artillery finally arrived in Afghanistan for U.S. forces. The cover story was that these weapons compensated for removal from the theater of British artillery. Actually, Gen. Tommy Franks, the Afghanistan commander in chief, withdrew his objection to cannon artillery. When I asked a combat general about the issue last week, he replied: ''I will never go into action without artillery.''

Novak's an odd one. I can never quite figure out which power group he represents.

(via Groupthinkcentral who has some thoughts).