We don't remove generals for battlefield failures? More context please.
Phil Klay's "Redeployment" is the best thing written so far on what the war did to people's souls.
Why exactly did American military leaders get so much so wrong? Bolger floats several answers to that question but settles on this one: With American forces designed for short, decisive campaigns, the challenges posed by protracted irregular warfare caught senior officers completely by surprise.
Over a thirty-five-year career, Daniel Bolger rose through the army infantry to become a three-star general, commanding in both theaters of the U.S. campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. He participated in meetings with top-level military and civilian players, where strategy was made and managed. At the same time, he regularly carried a rifle alongside rank-and-file soldiers in combat actions, unusual for a general. Now, as a witness to all levels of military command, Bolger offers a unique assessment of these wars, from 9/11 to the final withdrawal from the region. Writing with hard-won experience and unflinching honesty, Bolger makes the firm case that in Iraq and in Afghanistan, we lost — but we didn't have to. Intelligence was garbled. Key decision makers were blinded by spreadsheets or theories. And, at the root of our failure, we never really understood our enemy. Why We Lost is a timely, forceful, and compulsively readable account of these wars from a fresh and authoritative perspective.
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.
we're not going back to a Marshall-style approach anytime soon, Ricks says, partly because civilians, including our civilian leadership, are too unfamiliar with the way the military operates. "I think until we hold our generals accountable for being effective, that we won't see much change in the way our military is led; we won't see that kind of adaptiveness that I think we need in our leaders."
His new book, The Generals, is about what he sees as a decline of American military leadership; it offers an argument about why the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have been so long and so frustrating.
He says it boils down to one word: accountability.
The U.S. Army only seems impressive. Yes, it's got plenty of tactically competent and physically heroic enlisted soldiers and low-ranking officers. But its generals are, on the whole, crappy, according to a new book that's sure to spark teeth-gnashing within the Army.
The basic problem is that no one gets fired.
James Jay Carafano:
Studying American generals in absence of the America around them provides only one side of the story. The United States has a democratic army. Its officer corps, particularly the senior officers of the post–World War II era, strongly reflects that.
Perhaps the story least well told in The Generals is that, in the end, America largely got the army it paid for. During the interwar years, Congress let the U.S. Army overstuff the officer corps so there would be a cadre for mass mobilization. With few pressures on the corps and few opportunities for promotion, these men could largely pursue whatever interested them.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the modern military is not the rise of the organization man but the fact that the nation—both in and out of the armed forces—missed the real lessons of the first Gulf War. Too much ink was wasted on triumphalism and not enough on the reality that the army and its generals were born and bred to fight the Fulda Gap.
Had Army officers been managed in the Afghan War as they were during World War II, we would be seeing a new generation of leaders emerge. Instead, a beleaguered president once again is sending David Petraeus to the rescue, making it appear as though he is the only competent general we have.
RE: disappointing, if not surprising