Truly transforming the military would have meant trading in expensive cold war weaponry, like attack submarines and stealth fighters, for pilotless drones, swifter ships and lighter, more mobile ground forces. Mr. Rumsfeld never had the interest — or the political will — to take on that fight. Instead, he bought peace with Congress and the military brass by holding down the size of ground forces in order to continue paying the ballooning cost of unnecessary weaponry. He created a smaller, more mobile force that was too small to successfully pacify Iraq.
Really. Now we come to the interesting question, the question that has preoccupied people for years: can the New York Times read?
The answer, of course, is "No." Unless someone can tell a reporter something verbally, the New York Times will never find out about it. (This is not only true for the New York Times: there are other aliterate reporters out there). So responses to the opinion from people who know better, delivered in letter form, will probably never see an editor, but for your enlightenment, here it is.
I'll just select a bit, shall I?
Secretary Rumsfeld’s tenure has seen one of the most dramatic transformations of the military in its history—for the express purpose of combating asymmetric threats. That is, Secretary Rumsfeld has done precisely what you accuse him of not doing—and I should add that he has done so despite resistance from elements in the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, and the Congress. He has proven time and again more than willing to “take on that fight.”
While I applaud their efforts, the futility of attempting to write to the New York Times is easily demonstrated. Try it sometime.