posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 12:30 PM
First off, I'm not aware of a more appropriate thread for this topic, and it does have to do, in some degree, with politics within the US, hence I
placed it here in US Political Madness; if there's a more appropriate place for it, by all means move it thither.
Just read a very interesting article in Atlantic Magazine on what the author, Thomas E. Ricks contends is a degradation of the quality of
upper-echelon leadership, i.e. Generals, in the US Army (in particular). The article is adapted from his upcoming book, The Generals. The article
goes into detail on some of the Iraq War generals as well as giving some historical context on the assigning and replacing of generals in command
positions. I think it is worth reading in order to understand the last decade of military failures the US military has had in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I'm guessing some people may think of the Atlantic Magazine as having a liberal bias, but I have found its articles to be often of very high caliber,
and this one falls in that category.
His thesis is that military culture has changed since WWII, with generals being replaced less often on account of poor performance, as well as with
shorter command terms of six months, generals can just hunker down and wait out their commands before a new assignment. Also a more corporate culture
has developed, which doesn't reward success or punish failure, and that discourages mavericks. Additionally the current civilian/media culture of
venerating the military tends to be hypocritical of generals and their policies.
I found it to be a very illuminating article and recommend it to those interested in understanding the US's military failures over the past decade. I
buy the author's arguments, but have no well-founded opinions on the subject myself. As ATS tends to have a lot of military types, I am curious to
see what others with military experience will opine on this matter.
Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept
leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. A culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army’s
leadership rank—if it is not uprooted, the country’s next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two.
'General Failure' -- Atlantic
Thomas E. Ricks writes the Best Defense blog for Foreign Policy magazine and is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. This
essay is adapted from his new book, The Generals, out this month.
edit on 18-11-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)