Bombshell - High ranking Army Officer in blistering attack

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by OldCorpse, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #1
    Oh boy. A massive split has emerged in the military. Humpty Dumpty is broken and all King George's men can't put it back together again. Military heros are speaking out. Well, surprise, surprise - not.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...6/AR2007042602230.html?nav=rss_print/asection

    Army Officer Accuses Generals of 'Intellectual and Moral Failures'
    By Thomas E. Ricks
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, April 27, 2007; Page A04


    "An active-duty Army officer is publishing a blistering attack on U.S. generals, saying they have botched the war in Iraq and misled Congress about the situation there.

    "America's generals have repeated the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq," charges Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, an Iraq veteran who is deputy commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. "The intellectual and moral failures . . . constitute a crisis in American generals."

    Yingling's comments are especially striking because his unit's performance in securing the northwestern Iraqi city of Tall Afar was cited by President Bush in a March 2006 speech and provided the model for the new security plan underway in Baghdad.

    He also holds a high profile for a lieutenant colonel: He attended the Army's elite School for Advanced Military Studies and has written for one of the Army's top professional journals, Military Review.

    The article, "General Failure," is to be published today in Armed Forces Journal and is posted at http://www.armedforcesjournal.com. Its appearance signals the public emergence of a split inside the military between younger, mid-career officers and the top brass.

    Many majors and lieutenant colonels have privately expressed anger and frustration with the performance of Gen. Tommy R. Franks, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno and other top commanders in the war, calling them slow to grasp the realities of the war and overly optimistic in their assessments.

    Some younger officers have stated privately that more generals should have been taken to task for their handling of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, news of which broke in 2004. The young officers also note that the Army's elaborate "lessons learned" process does not criticize generals and that no generals in Iraq have been replaced for poor battlefield performance, a contrast to other U.S. wars.

    Top Army officials are also worried by the number of captains and majors choosing to leave the service. "We do have attrition in those grade slots above our average," acting Army Secretary Pete Geren noted in congressional testimony this week. In order to curtail the number of captains leaving, he said, the Army is planning a $20,000 bonus for those who agree to stay in, plus choices of where to be posted and other incentives.

    Until now, charges of incompetent leadership have not been made as publicly by an Army officer as Yingling does in his article.

    "After going into Iraq with too few troops and no coherent plan for postwar stabilization, America's general officer corps did not accurately portray the intensity of the insurgency to the American public," he writes. "For reasons that are not yet clear, America's general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq's government and security forces and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq."

    Yingling said he decided to write the article after attending Purple Heart and deployment ceremonies for Army soldiers. "I find it hard to look them in the eye," he said in an interview. "Our generals are not worthy of their soldiers."

    He said he had made his superiors aware of the article but had not sought permission to publish it. He intends to stay in the Army, he said, noting that he is scheduled in two months to take command of a battalion at Fort Hood, Tex.

    The article has been read by about 30 of his peers, Yingling added. "At the level of lieutenant colonel and below, it received almost universal approval," he said.

    Retired Marine Col. Jerry Durrant, now working in Iraq as a civilian contractor, agrees that discontent is widespread. "Talk to the junior leaders in the services and ask what they think of their senior leadership, and many will tell you how unhappy they are," he said.

    Yingling advocates overhauling the way generals are picked and calls for more involvement by Congress. To replace today's "mild-mannered team players," he writes, Congress should create incentives in the promotion system to "reward adaptation and intellectual achievement."

    He does not criticize officers by name; instead, the article refers repeatedly to "America's generals." Yingling said he did this intentionally, in order to focus not on the failings of a few people but rather on systemic problems.

    He also recommends that Congress review the performance of senior generals as they retire and exercise its power to retire them at a lower rank if it deems their performance inferior. The threat of such high-profile demotions would restore accountability among top officers, he contends. "As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war," he states."
     
  2. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #2
    Nice.

    P.S. I know one word replies aren't generally welcomed, but that sums up my *precise* feelings.
     
  3. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #3
    Indeed. One thing to keep in mind though: this is the military perspective. This guy was not privy to the political decisions that got us into this war in the first place. That's where the real crimes took place. At the very top. Bush and his gangsters. Those are the traitors who should be put on trial and executed.

    We all knew the war was bungled beyond belief. And it is clear that getting into the war was also a strategic blunder of monumental proportions, the consequences of which will stay with this nation forever. Way to go, right wing nut jobs, way to go.

    Too bad that those responsible will never face justice - not the military, and not the politicians, and not the war profiteers, and not their lackeys in the media, and not the analyst warmongers talking heads. Blood and treasure spilled, incredible crimes committed, and these guys will retire rich with the stolen spoils of this war, while this country and the world suffers.
     
  4. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #4
    Right now I'd settle for an impeachment just to get Bush and Cheney out off the White House. :cool:
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

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    #5
    Personally I'd rather the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague started an investigation. Although there's absolutely no chance of bringing those responsible to justice, having all the evidence made public will ensure that history remembers these people as the deceitful charlatans they are.
     
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #6
    Anyone with a clue knows that this war is nothing but an excuse to fleece
    the Amercian taxpayer of Trillions of dollars to benefit the military industrial complex. Dwight Eisenhower was right!

    The Generals close to this administration have their own personal motives for not speaking out. Apparently more worried about saving their own asses
    and investments than doing what should be done to put this fiasco in it's proper place.

    This administration is far more concerned with saving face than they are
    with saving lives.

    The amount of money squandered, lost or stolen as a result of this blank check funding deserves criminal prosecution.
     
  7. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #7
    I guess that would put the whole admin on trial... it's funny how Bush treats the military like the board room of a CEO. The CEO blames everyone else for his troubles except himself to be responsible.
     
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #8

    I'd be much happier knowing they are rotting away in prison for the rest of their miserable lives.

    Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rove all of them.
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    I'll guess that this guy isn't one of the military officers that Sushi knows...
     
  10. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #10
    Yeah, I prefer to eat sushi myself! :rolleyes:
     
  11. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    #11
    Am I the only one that got the totally wrong impression by the headline "Bombshell - High ranking Army Officer in blistering attack" ??? Stupid media.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    I'll leave that between the two of you...
     
  13. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #13
    The timing of this letter is perfect to coincide with Lt. General David H. Petraeus' meeting with congress.
     
  14. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #14
    A massive split, huh? Massive?
     
  15. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #15
    Have you read the article? I suggest you do. Here's a quote:

    "The article has been read by about 30 of his peers, Yingling added. "At the level of lieutenant colonel and below, it received almost universal approval," he said.

    Retired Marine Col. Jerry Durrant, now working in Iraq as a civilian contractor, agrees that discontent is widespread. "Talk to the junior leaders in the services and ask what they think of their senior leadership, and many will tell you how unhappy they are," he said."


    When there are splits between junior officers and the top brass as wide as we are seeing now, yep, that qualifies as massive. It means the men who fight, and the men who plan the fight (and sit safely away from the front lines), are at odds - when this happens in any military force, it is a crisis, no two ways about it. It is almost always a prelude to utter defeat - go back to history, and see - when fighting men no longer believe the men who lead, it's an unqualified disaster.

    Btw., we are losing the middle ranks of officers at an unprecendented speed, and that has long going consequences which we'll feel for decades - Bush broke the military:

    "Top Army officials are also worried by the number of captains and majors choosing to leave the service. "We do have attrition in those grade slots above our average," acting Army Secretary Pete Geren noted in congressional testimony this week."

    Edit: FWIW, I am reluctant to post personal observations, because that's anecdotal evidence, not proof, but I do know some folks in the military, and that's what I've been hearing for awhile. So, when I read this article it struck a chord - this now was objective evidence, not merely my personal observations, and I decided to post it here.
     
  16. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #16
    it's about time leadership speaks their minds. Bush has to know how they really feel even if he doesn't want to hear it.
     
  17. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #17
    johnee, it's sort of a chicken and egg thing: Bush can't know, if the Brass is unwilling to tell him. And central to Yingling's thesis is the the Brass doesn't know.

    As near as I can tell, Bush went ahead in spite of the Brass saying another 100K troops would be needed. That seems to be about the only correct disagreement by the Brass with Bush's idea. After all, the attack on Hussein's army was a classic WW II operation, but with newer and shinier toys.

    Back up for a moment. Forget all the WMD stuff; it's irrelevant, overall. We had the precedent of meddling in the Balkans, against Milosevic's Serbia. We had Saddam Hussein who was happily killing any and all who disagreed with him, by the tens of thousands. So, based on precedent, go meddle some more.

    But if you're gonna meddle, and get rid of an Evil Bastard, you gotta know what comes after. It's easy for us here to use hindsight; it's obvious that the Bushies blew it about "what comes after".

    It seems to me that an overlooked factor is that there were people who foresaw the "what comes after", but had no access to the decision makers, or had no credibility with them. That's an old problem.

    I've seen, "The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'." I submit, though, that when one reads comments over a year or two--or more--from units all over the combat services and from ranks high and low, there is indeed some data to indicate a problem. I've seen nothing which contradicts Yingling's comments, and much to support them. When your captains and majors are bailing out, IMO there are serious problems among the Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon.

    'Rat
     
  18. Queso macrumors G4

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    #18
    It was easy for millions of us to use foresight too. Maybe you didn't notice, but people right across both the USA and the rest of the world knew this would be the outcome, and were extremely noisy about it at the time.

    Anyway....

    I reckon even if the Pentagon had put in more troops and planned the aftermath, your leaders misjudged the situation in Iraq so badly it would have blown up in their faces just the same. All academic though now, since they didn't do the planning in the first place.
     
  19. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #19
    I see what you're saying, the top leadership didn't know. Now that they are finding out, well....

    I'm on the fence when it comes to the military-president relationship.

    I was in the marine corps for a while so I realize what it's like to be in it, but I was enlisted so I didn't get to understand the officer-view of the military universe.

    While I was in, I understood I was at the disposal of the president. I accepted that. Does the military have the right to tell the president he's wrong? In terms of ops/budget/implementation, yes. But in ideology? I suppose not.

    Does it really matter if the leadership now knows many under them don't want to be there?

    I guess I don't see anything positive coming from that because the war started a long time ago, and it has to end with a proper plan. If that plan calls for the military to be there for another 2 years, who are the commanders to say "You know Mr. President, many of our people are wanting to leave"?

    I realize they saw the numbers of field commanders dwindle, and on that basis alone they could implement a retention program, but the military telling the president how they feel is pointless.

    I wish they would come home NOW, but the war was started, right or wrong. We're there now, and have to have a proper exit strategy, and need the military to carry that out.

    On the other side of the fence, I wish many people in the military would tell bush to shove it up his *** and leave.

    :confused:
    :(
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #20
    Bravo. The more the military speaks out the more we can see the hypocrisy of Bush's statement (when threatening to veto the current emergency spending bill with the timeline proviso in it) that the Democrats are "telling the military what to do". Isn't that the way things are done under your administration George?

    The Pentagon can fight wars, but they cannot and should not be used to accomplish political goals by themslves - no matter how much we fight the insurgents it will never make the political situation any better.

    It is not strictly the Pentagon's fault that things are a hash - Bush has failed to balance his military activities with serious economic and political reconstruction, leaving our armed forces in an impossible situation and Iraq a shambles.
     
  21. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #21
    It's much worse than that - the war was lost the moment the first shot was fired in this illegal venture. We didn't have the world behind us - as we did during Iraq war 1. We undertook a war without understanding the enemy. It was bound to fail. Since we attacked them unjustly, they would always fight us. We manufactured the reasons, and they knew it - that's different from f.ex. Germany, where the population knew darn well, that they attacked us, and we had reason to go to war against them. Same with Iraq 1. However, with this war, the Iraqis saw us as pure invaders who were making a grab at their oil. Did you realize that we were spontanously opposed by the Shia even as we were invading in the very beginning? The Shia who were oppressed by Saddam! They were not fighting for Saddam, they were fighting against us. Only the Kurds supported us. It's like here - if Russia invaded us saying "Bush stole the election! We will bring you real democracy Russian style!" even I would take up a weapon against the Russians - even though I despise Bush and agree he stole the election. Same for Iraqis. We were bound to lose from the first shot fired. Obviously we had the power to depose Saddam - but all of us who knew the first thing about Iraq, knew we could never, ever sustain an occupation, and were bound to lose, Vietnam style. And so it is happening.
     
  22. johnee macrumors 6502a

    johnee

    #22
    I agree with you. In my opinion, the administration was SO hell bent on rooting out Al-Queda in Iraq, they had no REAL idea that sadam was keeping the genie in the iraqi bottle.

    now the genie is out and bush, et. al, don't know what to do.
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #23
    Before the invasion, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq.
     
  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #24
    Fair enough. But I was trying to highlight the fact that the military were given an impossible job by Bush, made worse by the fact that they have been forced to go it alone in Iraq thanks to the half-baked "reconstruction efforts".

    We were bound to fail, perhaps, but serious and far-reaching reconstruction efforts may have made a difference, if not to our war at least to some of the Iraqi people.
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    The military were given an illegal job by Bush. Success was not an option.
     

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