Charles Swannack

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Charles Swannack a major general of the United States Army, was highly critical of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld both before and after Swannack's retirement.


Coalition Provisional Authority head L. Paul Bremer blamed Swannack for creating the situation where Marines had to figh the First Battle of Fallujah. Knowing that the Marines were due to take control of Anbar province, he met, on March 22, with LTG James Conway, commanding I Marine Expeditionary Force. They discussed the Marine approach to the area, and that Conway disagreed with the 82nd's approach of limiting patrols to 45 minutes. "I want my Marines to be able to go anywhere, anytime in our [area of operations]. I intend to demonstrate that ability as soon as we are set up." Conway also described plans to use a carrot-and-stick approach, with the Marine motto, "no better friend, no worse enemy." /ref>[1]

When the 1st Marine Division, commanded by MG James Mattis, replaced the 82nd, Mattis intended to some of the Marine Corps' traditional counterinsurgency approaches, that idea affronted the Army. [2]


Returing to Iraq as an adviser during the 2007 Surge, casualties dropped in Swannack's area.[3]


During the Clinton Administration, Swannack, then a lieutenant colonel, represented the Joint Chiefs of Staff in meetings with the staff of Leonard Pezzulo, U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti. As the final planning was being done, Admiral Luther Schrieffer, Director of Latin American Policy for the Secretary of Defense, said that "The decision to deploy the USS Harlan County had not been made. We are waiting for an execute order." This Landing Ship Tank (LST) was to carry the initial U.S. intervention force. One of Pezzulo's aides, Nancy Jackson, turned to Swannack and asked if this was true; Swannack said "I don't know what Admiral Schrieffer is talking about." Jackson was surprised to see that the policy side of Defense, represented by Schrieffer, apparently was not talking to the operations side, represented by Swannack. [4]


  1. L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer with Malcolm McDonnell (2006), My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 9780743273893, p. 138
  2. FIASCO: the American Military Adventure in Iraq, Penguin, 2006, ISBN 159320103X, pp. 316-318
  3. Kevin Maurer (January 21, 2007), "Retired Gen. Swannack has the model for Iraq", Fayetteville (NC) Observer
  4. Ralph Pezzulo (July 2006), Plunging into Haiti: Clinton, Aristide, and the defeat of diplomacy, University Press of Mississippi; An ASDT-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Book, ISBN 1578068606