FLASHBACK: New Strategy Vindicates Ex-Army Chief Shinseki

By:  Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 — After President Bush told the nation on Wednesday night that he was ordering a rapid increase of American forces in Iraq, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki was not among the retired officers to offer instant analysis on television.

But the president’s new strategy, with its explicit acknowledgment that not enough troops had been sent to Iraq to establish control, was a vindication for General Shinseki, who as Army chief of staff publicly told Congress as much just before the war began in 2003.

First vilified, then marginalized by the Bush administration after those comments, General Shinseki retired and faded away, even as lawmakers, pundits and politicians increasingly cited his prescience.

“We never had enough troops to begin with,” SenatorLindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said just before the president’s televised address. “A month or two ago we found out the Army is broken, and they agreed that General Shinseki was right.”

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