Draft-dodger Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, is at war with a military expert who had the audacity to point out Trump’s obvious ignorance about the military operation against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq.
Today, in an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump sounded off about Mosul.
“So you can tell your military expert that I’ll sit down and I’ll teach him a couple of things.”
In Trump’s experience-free opinion, Mosul is a “total disaster” because we gave too much notice of the attack.
The attack on Mosul is turning out to be a total disaster. We gave them months of notice. U.S. is looking so dumb. VOTE TRUMP and WIN AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2016
Trump made similar comments during the last presidential debate.
“The element of surprise. Douglas MacArthur, George Patton spinning in their graves when they see the stupidity of our country.”
Unfortunately for Trump, real military experts disagree. The next day, the New York Times reported that such warnings reduce civilian casualties and instill fear within the enemy, among other benefits. Then there was this quote:
“‘What this shows is Trump doesn’t know a damn thing about military strategy,’ said Jeff McCausland, a retired Army colonel and former dean at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.”
Today, Stephanopoulos asked Trump about his tweet and McCausland’s comment. Trump doubled down. Oh, and check out how he first referred to General George Patton:
“The Army War College – let me tell you, the element of surprise. I’ve been hearing about Mosul now for three months, ‘We’re going to attack. We’re going to attack.’ Meaning Iraq’s going to attack but with us, OK? We’re going to attack. Why do they have to talk about it? Don’t talk about it. Element of surprise. General George Patent [sic].”
Trump subsequently correctly referred to Patton. But his later comments probably did nothing to reassure anyone about his suitability as commander in chief. Besides his desire to lecture McCausland, Trump brushed aside a challenge to his dire assessment of the Mosul operation.
When Stephanopoulos noted that Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said 35 ISIS leaders have been killed, Trump insisted:
“Excuse me: The resistance is much greater now because they knew about the attack. Why can’t they win first and talk later? Why do they have to say, three months before the attack, we’re going in?”
Of course, Trump provided no evidence to support his argument that a surprise attack would have worked better. But why would he? In Trump’s mind, he knows better than anyone about fighting ISIS, as he said last year that:
“I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.”
Fortunately, it looks like most Americans don’t believe him.
Video via ABC News on YouTube.