The NY Times OPED A Top-Down Review for the Pentagon was initially ok, even though the idea that Donald Rumsfeld is incompetent to lead the military (You don't say? What's your position on oxygen? For it?) until I read the note on the author at the bottom of the page: "Paul D. Eaton, a retired Army major general, was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004." This guy knows whereof he speaks. I don't know General Eaton, but he takes both the current and former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs to task for being lapdogs instead of wardogs to mad Don; he is laser-like in focus and power, pointing out that "you don't expect a secretary of defense to be criticized for tactical ineptness. Normally, tactics are the domain of the soldier on the ground. But in this case we all felt what L. Paul Bremer, the former viceroy in Iraq, has called the "8,000-mile screwdriver" reaching from the Pentagon. Commanders in the field had their discretionary financing for things like rebuilding hospitals and providing police uniforms randomly cut; money to pay Iraqi construction firms to build barracks was withheld; contracts we made for purchasing military equipment for the new Iraqi Army were rewritten back in Washington. Donald Rumsfeld demands more than loyalty. He wants fealty..." going on to point out that the civilians DR surrounds himself are more than eager to give it.
As I said, I don't know this guy. But, a quick google told me that prior to the assignment to scenic Iraq, he had been Chief of Infantry at Fort Benning -- the highest ranking grunt in the service. Generals assigned to that position seldom retire without a third star; while Fort Leavenworth and the Army War College claim intellectual soldiers, the Benning School for Boys has soldiers who sometimes are pretty damn intellectual, but totally grounded. The guy wouldn't have gotten that job without serious chops; if he walked away from his Army after 33 years with only 2 stars after the Iraq job, he was making a point.
Eaton has commented in the past in the Times and in other forums as well.
"One week after the president flew to the USS Lincoln in May 2003 to deliver his "Mission Accomplished" speech, the Defense Department ordered Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton to rush from Fort Benning, Ga., to Baghdad. His job: To lead an effort to try to rebuild Iraq's military.
"I was very surprised to receive a mission so vital to our exit strategy so late," the now-retired general told The New York Times in an account published Feb. 11."