Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cybersquattin' -- General Nuisances

If six former generals, including the commanders of the 82nd airborne division, and the Big Red One, say that the situation in Iraq is a debacle and only removing Rummy will give us a chance to get out with a shred of honor, gee, I for one am willing to listen.

Well, if we are going to go beyond hearing, and actually consider the opinions of these six generals, I think that we need to know ...

... did these generals speak this frankly to the previous President and his SECDEFs, when that Administration REFUSED to act decisively to defeat terrorists (including Saddam, which Bill Clinton certainly talked about as an enemy and supporter of terror) and then win this War on Terror at a far lower cost in blood and treasure than what we are paying now?

I don't think so ... show me that I'm wrong.

If they did not speak with that frankness against that folly back then, their present statements ring quite hollow ... for they are not based upon wisdom.

They certainly could speak out in public about the missteps of the Clinton years now, just as they are doing about this Administration. Has the cat got their tongue?

Could it be that their statements today are based on political ambition ... book deals ... sour grapes ... and fighting the last war?

Hmmm ...

The conventional wisdom ... more troops/leadership changes/better (read: longer) planning, working to unify the non-unifiable (read: BDS sufferers) ... would not have, and will not, bring victory. In fact, it can be shown that such measures were and are COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to this war effort.

There is one essential ingredient for victory at this time ... RESOLVE.

We must not only defeat them ... we must outlast them, and prove to them that we will continue to forcefully oppose them, wherever they appear, in perpetuity.

That was the missing element in our foreign and defense policies ... even while these generals were serving this nation prior to 11 Sept 2001. If they were wise, at least they would have spoken up to correct this error as they were counseling our Presidents (past and present), with the same forcefullness they are using now in public. (If they did, let them speak up now and corrrect the record.)

Instead, who was it that brought RESOLVE to the table, after a long absence?

George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Condolezza Rice ...

... and Donald Rumsfeld.

The very people the critics are now villifying, brought the essential element for victory and peace to bear upon our enemies, once again.

That you critics do not acknowledge this truth is an indictment of the "wisdom" you possess ... and makes your criticism ring very hollow.

Comments:
Rich...

To quote Marisa Tomei from "My Cousin Vinnie" you are "dead on balls accurate."

I've been eyeballing the Army since 1980 from a number of different viewpoints from cadet to major to DA civilian and I'll tell you that I'm far less impressed by senior officers today than I was way back when. While I know that I've grown up quite a bit and gathered my own sort of twisted ideas about what leadership is, I see far less than I think I should from people wearing eagles and stars on their shoulders.

The key to becoming a general officer would appear to me not necessarily being the best leader of men and women...but being a fair leader but politically acceptable follower.

We'll see how this one all turns out...and I do have my fingers crossed for a win!

See you on the high ground.

MajorDad1984
 
Actually, it's eight flag officers. But who's counting?

Essentially, your argument boils down to your belief that the military's senior leadership should shut up and sit down even as they see a situation go from from debacle to catastrophe. Majordad chirps up saying he's not impressed with today's senior leadership; of course, his vast experience as an O-4 uniquely qualifies him.

Two points I know both of you are missing. First, the military is an instrument of foreign policy--it does not make foreign policy. As such, the military (at any level) doesn't get to make policy decisions as to who we attack or who our allies are or aren't. Thus, the suggestion these flag officers should have been talking up attacking Iraq a decade ago is specious in the extreme.

Second, it is the duty of flag officers to present a clear and unbiased picture of the situation to the civilian leadership. No sugarcoating, no happy-talk--just an accurate SITSUM. Clausewitz once wrote that it is the overriding responsibility of the CinC to have a complete and honest understanding of the war being prosecuted.

George Bush has not lived up to his responsibility.

--Jadegold
 
Jadegold, you contradict yourself ...

As such, the military (at any level) doesn't get to make policy decisions as to who we attack or who our allies are or aren't. Thus, the suggestion these flag officers should have been talking up attacking Iraq a decade ago is specious in the extreme.

... VS ...

Second, it is the duty of flag officers to present a clear and unbiased picture of the situation to the civilian leadership.

That "situation" includes the state of the world from a military perspective ... including comprehensive threat assessments, even in peacetime.

Either these generals misread the long-term scope of the threat Saddam posed ... like I have seen you do over at Milblogs ... or the CINC at the time ignored them.

Given their statements, it appears that the former was the case.
 
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