Barack O'Bomber to send 20,000 more troops to Afghanistan and rewards General Shinseki - firm believer in overwhelming military force
US president-elect Barack Obama has nominated fellow Hawaiian born, retired army general Eric Shinseki, 66, as head of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
"I think that General Shinseki is exactly the right person who is going to be able to make sure that we honor our troops when they come home," Obama said.
Hawaii-born Shinseki, who is of Japanese descent, was the first Asian-American to be a four-star general and the first to head one of the branches of the US military. He was appointed army chief of staff by President Bill Clinton in 1999.
At a hearing in Congress in February 2003 senators asked Shinseki how many soldiers he believed would be needed to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq.
"Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required," Shinseki said. At the time, military genius Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, called the estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, "wildly off the mark." ..."We have no idea what we will need until we get there on the ground."
Frank Gibney published a brief essay about Gen. Shinseki as The General Who Got It Right on Iraq in the Los Angeles Times on December 24th 2004- which is well worth reading.
"In my time in uniform, the use of force was often not the preferred solution; neither was it necessarily the first option considered…. Once the use of force is sanctioned, there's almost no turning back…. Lethal force involves blunt trauma and surgical strikes, [which] better describe a military planner's range of options than they do the effects produced on the ground…. We can pinpoint targets with total accuracy … as long as they don't move."