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Whatever happened to Buford Blount, ...


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Whatever happened to Buford Blount(CG of 3ID during OIF) and Col. Dave Perkins of 3rd Brigade, 3ID of the Thunder Runs and CFLCC McKiernan?

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MG Blount:

http://savannahnow.com/node/91981/print

 

Former 3rd ID general: War plan 'flawed'

By Sean Harder

Created 2006-06-01 23:28

Sean Harder [1] | Friday, June 2, 2006 at 12:30 am

[2]

Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, shown here in an April 12, 2003 interview at Saddam International Airport outside Baghdad. Blount now thinks the invasion was flawed.

 

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III, who led the 3rd Infantry Division [3]'s 2003 charge into Iraq [4], now says the U.S. [5] decision to invade that country was flawed from the start.

 

Blount made his comments to the Savannah Morning News [6] on Thursday, one day after he told his hometown newspaper in Hattiesburg [7], Miss., "we made a lot of mistakes" following the invasion.

 

"Knowing what we know today, with the deaths we've had and lack of stability and challenge the insurrection has caused, there may have been a better way," he said. "Of course, that's all hindsight. I supported the decision at the time.

 

"But looking back now, it's clear the plan was flawed."

 

Blount, who led 22,0000 troops to Baghdad [8] in a history-making assault by traveling 465 miles in 21 days, said the decision to invade was based on poor intelligence and flawed planning.

 

He spoke critically of the U.S. [9] plan to take control of Iraq [10] after the fall of Saddam Hussein [11]. Basic government services, such as police and fire services, were non-existent, he said.

 

"The assumption had been that government would be functioning in Iraq [12], but none of that happened. Everything shut down completely, and we did not have a plan in place to fix that," he said.

 

Blount said he opposed the decision to disband the Iraqi army without pay after the invasion, and the attempt to rebuild it from the ground up. He said he made that opposition known to his superiors at the time.

 

"First of all, in our pre-attack plan we told them to put down their weapons and go home and they would be taken care of," he said. "We were paying every government employee in Iraq [13] but did nothing for the military. That was a poor decision.

 

"It was a functioning force that could have been greatly used by us to get the country back together quickly. Instead, we sent all these young trained soldiers home with no future and no money to support their families, so they were easily recruited by the insurgents."

 

But, Blount said, pulling out of Iraq [14] now would cause chaos.

 

"It's too soon to start withdrawing any large number of forces," he said. "We have to continue to give the Iraqi government a chance to become functional."

 

Blount joins a growing circle of retired generals who have publicly criticized the U.S. [15] war plan. So far, eight generals have voiced similar concerns, and have called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [16].

 

But that's where Blount differs with his colleagues. He said he is not calling for Rumsfeld [17]'s resignation.

 

Blount - a tall, soft-spoken Southerner - said he decided to make his opinion public after being invited to speak to the Hattiesburg [18] American editorial board this week.

 

He said he doesn't want his views to be construed as a criticism of the job performed by U.S. [19] troops.

 

"We did great things and we continue to do great things," he said. "I'm very proud of our soldiers."

 

Before taking command at Fort Stewart [20] in 2001, Blount was in Saudi Arabia [21] working with that country's elite fighting force. He is well educated on the culture and politics of the Middle East [22]. During the 3rd ID's time in Iraq [23], Blount became the public face of the invasion. He was featured several times on national news programs, most notably Ted Koppel [24]'s "Nightline." After leaving Fort Stewart [25] in 2003, Blount spent a year at the Pentagon [26] as deputy for U.S. Army [27] planning in operations. He was never promoted to the rank of lieutenant general as some Army observers had expected.

 

When asked whether he felt his criticism of the war plan had cost him that promotion, he declined to comment. Blount retired from the Army in January of 2005 and today discusses national security as a visiting lecturer at the University of Mississippi [28].

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I think Blount had to go because of the near-mutinous condition of his division at the end of the "combat phase" of the war. His ADC survived to take command of 10th Mt Div, but then was sidelined as dep cdr of a major command. His 'opposition' to the 2003 came much later.

 

The army relieved 115 generals in WWII, a necessary policy unmatched since then in the slightest.

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This is the first I'm hearing about command climate problems in 3ID. Whats the deal with that??

Not so much a command climate, Scott, he just lost control of his troops. He dumbly promised them they would be relieved immediately after the fight, and once on Baghdad

occupation duty, they were just terrible, shooting everything that moved - you may remember one of the inbed news videos of soldiers shooting up an IPS patrol at night.

The 1AD guys who were taking over told me they could not wait to get them shipped out of there, especially the 3rd Bde that was delayed. The 3ID guys called all Iraqis

'the enemy' and fired on them at the least provocation. Even 120mm agreed with me, but the thread is long lost...where is Adam Geibel when you need him??

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Not so much a command climate, Scott, he just lost control of his troops. He dumbly promised them they would be relieved immediately after the fight, and once on Baghdad

occupation duty, they were just terrible, shooting everything that moved - you may remember one of the inbed news videos of soldiers shooting up an IPS patrol at night.

 

I read in Fiasco that the 4th ID and Odierno were the same way. It was Patreus's troops that complained about him and the 4th.

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I read in Fiasco that the 4th ID and Odierno were the same way. It was Patreus's troops that complained about him and the 4th.

That's really despicable, OT. 4ID did no heavy lifting in 2003. WTF, one wonders....

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They were told "the way home is through Baghdad". Then they found out that wasn't necessarily the case afterwards. Also, some of the generals (I don't know if it was Blount) resisted policing Baghdad and environs. They said they weren't trained for it. Personally, I think a lot of that was Rumsfeld's fault and other political cronies of Bush. Who were they to tell the generals how many troops they could have for the invasion? If they said they needed 300,000 then give them 300,000. Who's the professionals about this? Certainly not the white house.

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