An interview with retired US Army 4 star General Tommy Franks

Thursday, November 18th 2004, 1:21 pm
By: News On 6

The general who helped craft America's invasion plan for Iraq admits the resistance US troops are meeting there is stronger than he expected.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood had an exclusive interview with retired four-star general Tommy Franks.

General Tommy Franks' invasion plan for Iraq was controversial from the beginning. Operation Iraqi Freedom emphasized flexibility and speed, rather than massive troop and artillery strength like the first Gulf war. Critics were skeptical. Many said the US wasn't bringing in enough firepower to succeed. But the plan worked brilliantly. Within three weeks, Baghdad had fallen. But in the following months, the US has run into growing resistance. And the critics are back.

Tommy Franks, now retired and planning a move back to Oklahoma, isn't ready to give an inch. “I am not yet, not by any stretch, ready to say, well those who said larger numbers were needed have been vindicated by what we have seen. Not at all. I don't believe that.”

Franks argues that it’s not about the number of troops, but the kind of troops that you have on the ground. And those needs are different for an invasion than they are for peacekeeping operations.

He says since this invasion went so quickly, the military didn't have time to make a gradual transition and what we're seeing now is a direct result of that.