In a series of interviews in the Washington Post, senior American army officers have openly expressed doubts about whether the United States will win.
Major General Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division which was in western Iraq for much of the past year, said that tactically the US was winning but when asked if overall it was losing, replied: “I think strategically we are.”
Colonel Paul Hughes, the first director of strategic planning in Iraq after the war, whose brother died in Vietnam said: “Here I am, 30 years later, thinking we will win every fight and lose the war, because we don’t understand the war we are in.”
A senior general at the Pentagon who chose te remain unknown said he believes the United States is already on the road to defeat. “It is doubtful we can go on much longer like this,” he said. “The American people may not stand for it — and they should not.”
Asked who was to blame, this general pointed directly at Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. “I do not believe we had a clearly defined war strategy, end state and exit strategy before we commenced our invasion,” he said. “Had someone like Colin Powell been the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], he would not have agreed to send troops without a clear exit strategy. The current OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] refused to listen or adhere to military advice.”