ANALYSIS: A sea change inside the Pentagon

New military leaders question Iraq mission

Four and a half years after the nation’s top military leaders saluted and fell in behind President Bush’s pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, their replacements are beginning to question the mission and sound alarms about the toll the war is taking on the Army and the Marine Corps.

The change at the Pentagon is striking but little-noticed, in part because Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a longtime veteran of the CIA, is quiet where his predecessor Donald H. Rumsfeld was not.

“It’s part of a sea change,” said Loren Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a national-security research center in Washington. “The ideologues have been replaced by managers who view Iraq not as a cause, but a problem to be solved.” [complete article]

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