Thursday, February 28, 2002

Kenneth Adelman

Kenneth Adelman, a lifelong neocon activist and Pentagon insider who served on the Defense Policy Board until 2005, wrote a famous op-ed article in The Washington Post in February 2002, arguing:
. . . . I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps.

. . . . Today Iraqi forces are much weaker. Saddam's army is one-third its size then, in both manpower and number of divisions. It still relies on obsolete Soviet tanks, which military analyst Eliot Cohen calls "death traps." The Iraqi air force, never much, is half its former size.

Iraqi forces have received scant spare parts and no weapons upgrades. They have undertaken little operational training since Desert Storm.

. . . . In 1991 we engaged a grand international coalition because we lacked a domestic coalition. Virtually the entire Democratic leadership stood against that President Bush. The public, too, was divided. This President Bush does not need to amass rinky-dink nations as "coalition partners" to convince the Washington establishment that we're right. Americans of all parties now know we must wage a total war on terrorism.

. . . . Measured by any cost-benefit analysis, such an operation would constitute the greatest victory in America's war on terrorism.
By October, 2006, Adelman had buyer's remorse, saying,
I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.

The most dispiriting and awful moment of the whole administration was the day that Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and Paul Bremer—three of the most incompetent people who've ever served in such key spots. And they get the highest civilian honor a president can bestow on anyone! That was the day I checked out of this administration. It was then I thought, There's no seriousness here, these are not serious people. If he had been serious, the president would have realized that those three are each directly responsible for the disaster of Iraq.
Adelman, denying he was a Neocon,became an Obamacon (Republican for Obama) on 24-Oct-08, writing in Huffington Posts:
I've long prided myself in being a staunch conservative ..... Not a neo-con ..... Granted, McCain's views are closer to mine than Obama's. But I've learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years .....

McCain's temperament -- leading him to bizarre behavior ..... depressed me into thinking that "our guy" would be a(nother) lousy conservative president. Been there, done that.

..... I'd rather have a competent moderate president. Even at a risk ..... I concluded that McCain would not -- could not -- be a good president. Obama just might be ..... That's become good enough for me .....

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