In an interview with NRO, retired General Jack Keane said that the surge is working better than expected (H/T: Bird Dog, Think Progress). Keane authored and promoted the surge proposal to the Bush administration together with AEI neocon Fred Kagan earlier this year.
Since his 2003 retirement from the military, Keane has profited handsomely from the continuation of the war. He sits on the board of General Dynamics, a major military contractor. From the company’s 2005 annual report on the commercial significance of the continuing war:
“The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan fueled continued strong demand for several of our largest programs, including the Stryker wheeled infantry vehicle, the M1 Abrams tank and the Marine Corps’ Light Armored Vehicle (LAV). The high operational tempo of the U.S. military also generated increased requirements for the company’s ammunition and high-performance armaments.”
Reviewing the testimony of Mr. Keane and three other former generals on January 18 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, there is a distinct pattern. Those most involved in the military industry, Mr. Keane and former four-star army general Barry McCaffery, endorsed, respectively, escalation and continued investment in the Iraq War. Those with the least involvement in the military industry, former Marine General John P. Hoar and former army Lt. Gen. William Odom were for withdrawal.
None of this means that Keane's assessment is wrong, but reasonable people should question the credibility of General Keane's assessment since the continuation of the war is deeply tied in with the profitability of corporations that pay him.