There was a lot of ink spilled and hot air blown over last weekend and the beginning of the week regarding whether our senior military officers were prepared in their tactics and thinking to deal with the methods used by the Saddam Fedayeen and other enemy units. The basis of all that consternation was a remark made by Lt. Gen. William Wallace, commander of V Corps, who the New York Times and the Washington Post quoted as saying, “The enemy we’re fighting is different from the one we’d war-gamed against.”
Now, the New York Times has printed a correction:
A front-page article on Tuesday about criticism voiced by American military officers in Iraq over war plans omitted two words from an earlier comment by Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, commander of V Corps. General Wallace had said (with the omission indicated by uppercasing), “The enemy we’re fighting is A BIT different from the one we war-gamed against.”
That’s a big difference. As Phil Carter reports in his blog, there is a big difference. Depending on how you mean it, it is either ironic or exactly what it is, but in any case it softens the criticism. Phil says, what enemy is exactly like the way you’ve wargamed him?
Will we see all the pundits who excoriated the Pentagon for failing to prepare adequately for unconventional tactics, citing Gen. Wallace’s comments as proof, offer a retraction or correction? I doubt it.