Continued from page 1

“Rumsfeld also encouraged the civilian side at DoD to consider General Sanchez for appropriate post-retirement for which he was qualified, like heading up one of the regional education institutions under the National War College auspices,” said Larry Di Rita, a close aide to the secretary. “Given Sanchez’s recent comments, I can only believe he is unaware of the lengths Secretary Rumsfeld went to keep him from being scapegoated and to help preserve his reputation.”


U.S. intelligence officials recently obtained this quote from a Taliban leader:

“Tanks and armor are not a big deal. The fighters are the killers. I can handle everything but the jet fighters.”

Even though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are considered “irregular” warfare, precision bombing by fighters has proved valuable in taking out insurgent hide-outs. It was a bomb from an F-16 fighter in 2006 that killed al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi.

Gates’ warning

Adm. Michael Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs, said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made clear to him from the start that he would hold generals accountable for their mistakes.

“Actually, in one of my first meetings with Secretary Gates after he came over, when he assumed this job, he spoke to all of us, all the senior leaders about accountability and an expectation that he would essentially certainly give us guidance,” Adm. Mullen told a group of defense reporters on June 10. “He’s a leader who decentralizes control, but then he would hold leaders accountable. I can remember that conversation as if it were yesterday, and he’s done that and I admire him for it.”

Mr. Gates had just fired the Air Force’s top general and service secretary for what he said was lax oversight of nuclear weapons and components.