The Army Times, the main newspaper for US troops, recently published an editorial it said was “the hard bruising truth” about the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war.
“It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think [US defence secretary] Rumsfeld has failed,” it said. “But when the nation’s current military leaders start to break publicly with their defence secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.
“These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.
“And although that tradition, and the officers’ deep sense of honour, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.
“Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large.
“His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.
“This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins, the time has come, Mr President, to face the hard bruising truth: Donald Rumsfeld must go.”