The Corner

Brooks Fumbled It

That’s what Tom Barnett says:

To his great credit, Krepinevich has been a real visionary of the lighter, more lethal, more agile force that won the war in Iraq. Now, he seeks to balance the overmatch by arguing—and arguing correctly—for boots on the ground to win the peace (however delayed by our poor choices since “Mission accomplished”).

But here is where Brooks shows his ignorance of military matters to a stunning degree: describing Krepinevich’s `new’ thinking as the opposite of Rumsfeld’s transformed force vision. First, Krepinevich was one of the great godfathers of this approach, and two, how we win wars is not the same as how we win the peace in the 21st century. Wars have become faster, easier, cheaper, and that means the peace becomes slower, harder, more costly.

Two realities requiring two forces. Brooks doesn’t get that yet, and thus he foolishly presents Krepinevich as Rumsfeld’s doctrinal opposite. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are identical twins when it comes to war, and frankly, they’re close to being cousins on the question of the peace. It’s just that Bush and Rumsfeld can’t admit how much they screwed up the coalition-building in the run-up to the war.

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