Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jack Jacobs on Bush's new plan

Jack Jacobs served in Vietnam and was one of the most highly decorated U.S. troops from that war. Among his medals is the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration in the United States.

Jacobs has been and currently is a military affairs analyst for MSNBC. On January 10, 2007, after Bush's speech, Jacobs appeared on the MSNBC show "Scarborough Country." Here's what he had to say:
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s bring in Jack Jacobs, he is an MSNBC military analyst and he‘s of course, retired U.S. Army colonel, and a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. Colonel, let‘s talk about the where the president stands tonight in relation to the Joint Chiefs, to the man that ran his war in Iraq for the past three years or so and in relation to a lot of other military officials. Is the president swimming against the tide militarily speaking?

COL. JACK JACOBS, U.S. ARMY, (RET), MSNBC ANALYST: Well, he‘s certainly painted himself into a corner, hasn‘t he? I mean, all the options that were available for the use of the military instrument three years ago are no longer available. It‘s not like we‘re going to stay there forever. We aren‘t going to pull troops out tomorrow because that puts them at a tremendous risk.

What‘s happened here is that the president has set, I think under pressure from very high-ranking military officers who really have a say-so in this very limited objectives here. A relatively small number of troops over a relatively short period of time for very, very small objectives. With fewer than a 15 percent increase here. It‘s not like large numbers of troops are going to go there, are going to sweep the country, kill all the bad guys, capture every one who isn‘t killed and turn over a completely pacified Iraq to the Iraqis.

Relatively small number of troops going into some neighborhoods in Baghdad, in parts of al Anbar Province, they‘re going to kill some bad guys, capture some bad guys, pacify some areas and turn those areas over to some Iraqi troops. And I think that‘s what the military establishment has dragged out of the president, limited objectives.

You could look at this at a matter of fact, as what the military calls a detachment left in contact. These people are there effectively to protect the rear and the flanks of the military already in Iraq that is eventually coming home. Make no mistake about it, I think both sides of the aisle want troops to come home and they will be coming home.

SCARBOROUGH: And of course the generals on the ground have said that they had a lot of concerns about this troop surge but it sounds like what you‘re saying is that the 20,000 troops may not be enough to effect great change over in Iraq and that this move may be more political, more based in politics than in military objectives.

JACOBS: In my judgment, you can bet on it. Because if really you were going to flood the zone, you wouldn‘t have a 15 percent increase in troop strength in Iraq, you would have a doubling or trebling of troop strength. And we‘re not going to do that. There is a huge political element to the insertion of these troops. And the only way that the president was able to get the military establishment to support this is to severely limit the objectives and I think that‘s exactly what you have here. I may be the only guy talking about it in this way but I think you‘ve got limited objectives, using limited number of troops and it‘s going to be for a limited amount of time.
(emphasis added).

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