Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq for the first year of the occupation, blamed “incompetence” by President George W. Bush’s national security team for creating a “nightmare” that could last far into the future.
Sanchez, who led coalition forces from June 2003 to June 2004, used an Oct. 12 speech to a conference of Military Reporters and Editors in Arlington, Virginia, to castigate nearly everyone connected to the Iraq War, including the U.S. news media, Congress, the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon. “There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetence in strategic leadership among our national leaders,” Sanchez said. “They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty.
In my profession, these types of leaders would be immediately relieved or court-martialed.”