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It does not surprise me that have to learn from them (the Aussies). On this issue especially. He's a moral man to put it so bluntly. Coming on the heels of the WP Rugby Team revelations (no surprise to me as a former faculty member), it's a fit topic to push to a discussion about the higher levels of tolerance--pun intended. I blame the leadership's complacency about "character development" at WP more than I blame the cadets.
I also blame the system under which our GOs are promoted for much of the Army's moral malaise--it's a mediocrity promoting system of form over substance. Other first-world countries seem to be more interested than we are in accountability (substance) over form. No evidence for you data mongers . . . just seeming, for comment, from my 39 years working for the Army. It's a conformity factory with a morally bankrupt machismo complex.
I have a good number of years of bilateral engagement behind me in those three decades, and I am/was never failed to be embarrassed by the comparative quality of other nation's senior army leaders. We have some greats, no mistake; no doubt they are among the world's best, but there are others who cannot put a sentence together, and for a GO, that's an unpardonable sin.
2 days, 13 hours ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
I think he's exactly right--and let's hope the politics of the idea don't shut us down.
1 week ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
Yes. Is the human brain a weapon? Is anything it touches, senses, uses, a weapon? Jesus H. Christ. What about the moral framework (F' the "legal framework") ?
Oh, and BTW, the H. stands for "Herod."
@HUNTERS Did see that with Imiola! He is more measured than some people I know (not you though; I'm thinking of someone else . . . ) :)
1 week, 2 days ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
<<North Korea's nuclear weapons program is a greater threat to peace and stability than the Iranian program.>>
This is probably true, given the leadership, I think. BUT...
One thing I think is beyond doubt is that both Japan and South Korea could easily defend themselves against the DPRK without much US assistance. We all know Japan does not possess nukes, right? Well, don't bet on it. There, in that questionable assumption, is a similarity to Israel. Japan is "Japan" after all, a country that makes aircraft carriers and calls them destroyers so they avoid being termed "offensive." Do you really think a country as advanced as Japan is putting its existence in US hands? I don't.
Also, the US will obliterate the DPRK well before they make much real military progress, in spite of worries over the Truman and the Lincoln. The North faces the same dilemma the Iranians do--ideology vs. national suicide. No one doubts this. The Washington is quite enough to destroy N. Korea. The difference is that the Iranians have sympathizers in the form of co-religionists. The DPRK has none, really (even the most conservative in China think the N. Koreans are a bunch of hillbillies). The DPRK may be more dangerous, yes, a greater threat, only because that leadership is less accountable and more volatile (but we don't really know).
1 week, 4 days ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
Majrod obviously has an agenda. It's not too hard to figure out what it is. It has to do with defending USMA even when he has to look like a zealot. Hell, he is a zealot.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
Been there many times. I guess I like it because it memorializes the infantry more than anyone else, better than any other monument (including the USMC Memorial). CharlieS has the reason for the number of radios.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
Always had something for redheads . . .
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
Actually I do know the law better than those tools.
@HUNTERS @majrod <<MI guys are trained from the beginning to reject such practices.>> Well said Hunter, and there is a reason. It's the LAW.
Let them laugh. They are nothing against our power. Your overweening fear is making you over react. Remember, we signed a treaty. It's not a theory. It's a fact. Life is hard, but it's even harder when you are stupid, isn't it, dumb ass.
The level of ignorance in the critics of this author is amazing if predictable. One thing these critics have not is the imagination to see that there is a STRATEGIC price to be paid for the immorality of the actions we take as a nation. These critics have no sense at all that the costs are paid for, long term, and do more harm from a strategic standpoint than their small and simple minds can ever grasp.
We should never expect the partially rational to understand the utility of morality, but we should demand that their leaders do understand it, and enforce it, with as much passionate disdain for the moral simpletons in their ranks as they could ever muster for the enemies of the nation. Only through such enforcement of the standards already agreed upon in treaty (FM 27-10) can the American vision of right be brought to frutition. And only through that fruition can true success be gained.
Any officer who wittingly or unwittingly through negligence sets the conditions for torture in his command has violated his oath to the US Constitution, and he is thus a traitor to his fellow soldiers. That is a fact. It matters not what your opinion is on the so-called efficacy of torture.
@HUNTERS Yeah, dig it! it has that greasy texture, kind of like the words "incest" and "nepotism."
4 months ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
@Another Opinion Hey AO, where does consanguinity fit into your time line? You sound like a salesman to me. Why are you always so cheery? From what I've seen in the last few to 11 years, the Army needs big changes.
Thank you for this post. Officers are generally posers after they reach field grade. After O-5, most are politicians.
<<And I just -- I never had much confidence in -- in a lot of the officer corps.>>
NCOs are much more frequently existentially authentic. They don't pretend to be things that they are not. They can be pretty ignorant as junior NCOs, but those guys don't last. Most E-7s and E-8s, at least in the infantry, are among the best kinds of people. They live with the soldiers and literally love them. The officers talk a lot about values and whatnot, but they never really care like the NCOs do, the best of them anyway. I know this because I was an infantryman from E-1 to E-5, back in the early 70s. Then I became an officer and saw all the Kool Aid drinking. Anything the Army does to make NCOs more like officers is a bad idea.
McChrystal's new book, which I started to read but then dropped, made me sick almost from the start. It's full of all this self-important posing. Like many officers, his career has much more to do with those he was steward over than his own real abilities. This is a common thing in the Army, anyway.
5 months ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
@tomricks And we love you for it . . . .
5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/01/09/military_review_steps_up
I agree. I do see what Tom means with the Boccardi article, but you are right--it is after all a journal for Army field grades primarily. The editors at MR probably should have clarified the "muddy boots" thing.
As far as Tom's quibbles on the typos go, I know MR posts their articles to the internet before they do blue lines. This gives the authors a chance to respond before all the kinks are worked out. My bet is that those errors will be fixed in the print issue (and online when the G6 posts all the fixes found in proofing).
You have not been holding yourself to the same online standard Tom; your essays in this blog frequently are full of typos. Throwing rocks like that is just mean. It makes it look like you have a grudge.
Thanks for sharing that Haydon. I used to walk past the Ernie Pyle school there at IU everyday between classes. I enjoyed reading your post.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/12/31/an_admiral_s_surprising_reading_list
@Eric_Strattoniii I believe you. I knoe it. I work for the Army. I know the situation. Eric--Were you around in the early 1980s when the military got religion? It was VERY sudden. Religion has EVERYTHING to do with the current ascetism. We all saw it start in the early 80s. Its bullshit, and its been going on and getting worse for the last 30 years.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/30/free_at_last_thank_god_almighty