Media reports on President-elect Barack Obama's selection of retired Army General Eric Shinseki commonly described the pick as a “rebuke” or “repudiation” of the Bush administration for underestimating the number of troops that would be needed to occupy Iraq, but CBS's Dean Reynolds went further as he implied abiding by Shinseki's 2003 recommendation for “several hundred thousand soldiers” would have prevented wounded troops. On Sunday's CBS Evening News, over archive video of Shinseki visiting wounded soldiers -- and leading into a soundbite from Shinseki saying “veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular are confronting severe wounds, some seen, some unseen” -- Reynolds declared:
Now Shinseki will deal with the consequences of a policy that rejected his advice.
Of course, many soldiers and Marines have been wounded in Afghanistan and it's hardly an established fact that more American troops in Iraq in 2003 would have precluded a large number of American casualties which would require services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
From the Sunday, December 7 CBS Evening News:
DEAN REYNOLDS: ...In picking Eric Shinseki to head Veterans Affairs, the President-elect offered a symbolic rebuke to the Bush administration for under-estimating the insurgency in post-war Iraq that the former General memorably warned would take far more resources to fight.
SHINSEKI, FEBRUARY 25, 2003: Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers.
REYNOLDS: Now Shinseki will deal with the consequences of a policy that rejected his advice.
SHINSEKI, ON SUNDAY: Veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular are confronting severe wounds, some seen, some unseen.