Monday, July 07, 2003

Tommy Franks: Bring 'em on

This, from ABC News:

On the last day of his command, Franks told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America that he agreed with the president's comment, and he doesn't think more U.S. troops are needed to deal with the recent spate of attacks against American forces.

"The fact is, wherever we find criminals, death squads and so forth who are anxious to do damage to this country and to peace-loving countries around the world, I absolutely agree with the president of the United States: 'bring 'em on," Franks said."

"The sense I have now is that it's not time to send in additional troops," Franks said during an interview with ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer from U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

Repeat after me, 'Tommy Franks knows nothing, absolutely nothing, about modern warfare. The BBC is a far better source of military judgment than Tommy Franks. Tommy Franks needed more men to take Afghanistan. The Afghan winter was going to kill all Western soldiers unused to it. They will never penetrate the caves of Tora-Bora. The force sent against Saddam's elite Republican Guard was inadequate. Baghdad will be another Stalingrad. Mesopotamia will be the death trap of the US Marines. Tommy Franks is a Texan cowboy, how can he know anything? Tommy Franks didn't go to Oxford, how can he know anything? ..." Come to think of it, he didn't even go to West Point.

Now General Franks is not invincible, nor he is an oracle that is invariably right. Yet his judgement represents a synthesis of the best intelligence available weighed by a command judgement that not even Norman Schwartzkopf can equal. Tommy Franks is not always right in matters of war, just usually.