Philip H. Gordon and Michael E. O'Hanlon ["No Easy Victory," op-ed, April 12] have every right to disagree with what I wrote -- but not with what I never wrote and never believed.

I was clearly pushing to liberate Iraq soon. And I was clearly contending that the loss of U.S. lives, damage from an outbreak of terrorism, resistance from the Republican Guard, etc., would be far less than such "fear-mongers" were portending. But I never advocated going into Iraq on the cheap, which was Mr. Gordon and Mr. O'Hanlon's accusation.

Specifically, they asserted that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made a "decision to ignore [my] advice by sending in a decisive ground force" and that this successful military strategy in Iraq was one I had "opposed for years."

Neither statement is true. Mr. Gordon and Mr. O'Hanlon do not -- and cannot -- cite any statements of mine to substantiate their claims.

To be clear: Nothing Mr. Rumsfeld did in Iraq differed from anything I ever wrote on the topic. My cry, time and again, was on overall policy, not on military strategy to implement that policy.

For Mr. Gordon and Mr. O'Hanlon to attack me for their concocted view is unfair.

KEN ADELMAN

Arlington