Over the weekend, President-elect Barack Obama announced the appointment of former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. I think the appointment is a good one and I believe that Gen. Shinseki is a good and honorable man.
However, his appointment has provided an occasion for the media to trot out some old falsehoods about the Bush administration and the Iraq War. Among these is the claim that Gen. Shinseki’s testimony before the SASC, during which he called for a bigger ground force than the one that went in to Iraq, cost him his job. This is simply not true as I have written here.
The fact is that neither Don Rumsfeld nor the Army leadership predicted the emergence of an insurgency in Iraq. As I argue in the piece, Shinseki’s figures were based on an analysis that had nothing to do with what transpired in Iraq.