Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own - not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.Wow.
Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly three years after the war in Iraq.
"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.
"We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson said after asking again.
Now that is speaking truth to power. But Rumsfeld had to know that he might get a brave question from these brave men and women, so how did the architect of the Iraq invasion answer the soldiers' charge?
Rumsfeld replied that, "You go to war with the Army you have," not the one you might want.Oh, now I understand...
- You don't let WMD inspectors do their job; "you go to war with the Army you have."
- You don't exhaust non-military options; "you go to war with the Army you have."
- You don't make serious efforts to build a serious, broad-based coalition; "you go to war with the Army you have."
- You don't make certain that the personnel staffing Iraqi prisons are properly trained and supervised, "you go to war with the Army you have."
- You don't adequately equip the troops for foreseeable threats; "you go to war with the Army you have."
- You don't send sufficient military resources to secure the battlefield; "you go to war with the Army you have."