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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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December 09, 2004

Citizen soldiers

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gets away with slicing the baloney pretty thick in Washington, D.C., but his gruff and grumpy act fell flat before troops in Kuwait headed for Iraq.

National Guard soldiers asked pointed questions about the shoddy condition of their equipment as they headed into a combat zone with no secure areas. Among the bluff and bluster answers a flummoxed Rumsfeld offered was one that was particularly disingenuous: "...You go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

The Iraq war was a war of choice, with all of the timing dictated by the Bush administration and Pentagon, which bears full responsibility for the numbers of troops judged necessary to fight the war, and how adequately or inadequately they are equipped.

The administration is also responsible for the training and equipment provided the nation's military reserves. If they have been working and training with hand-me-downs, the policy caught up military planners.

Rumsfeld had the time and money to get it right. He was finally held accountable by those who suffer the consequences of Beltway hubris in a war zone.

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Posted by Lance Dickie at December 9, 2004 12:40 PM



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