Where was Gen. Abizaid?

Michael Gordon of the NY Times looks at a new history of post major combat operations Iraq and the usual suspects are named. Of course Tommy Franks comes in for his share of criticism, but the guy who replaced him is like the guy who wasn't there. It begs the question of why Abizaid never reversed decisions that led to too few troops and an inadequate staff.

Franks says he has not read the new history, but thinks he covered it in his book. However his book gives the impression of a Phase IV plan very different from what happened and does not suggest he changed his mind. If he did, he owes it to history to say why.

Centcom was still the primary command for operations in Iraq after Gen. Franks left, but responsibility for troop decisions is shuffled off to the Army chairman or downward to Lt. Gen. Sanchez but it never seems to land on Abizaid's desk. However, it was Abizaid who was the chief proponent of the small foot print strategy which was left in place.

Perhaps Gen. Abizaid has a good explanation for why he did not insist on more troops, but his decision to leave when President Bush pushed for the surge speaks volumes. Until we see something in writing that action will have to speak for him.

However, this new history is incomplete until this point is addressed.


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