"A failure in generalship "By a serving officer Lt. Col. Paul Yingling is a remarkable, lucid, well argued and excoriating esay on the failures of the senior US military command in Vietnam. Iraq and Afghanistan . It deserves to be widely read. It is, remarkably, published in the Armed Forces Journal.
"The intellectual and moral failures common to America's general officer corps in Vietnam and Iraq constitute a crisis in American generalship. Any explanation that fixes culpability on individuals is insufficient. No one leader, civilian or military, caused failure in Vietnam or Iraq. Different military and civilian leaders in the two conflicts produced similar results. In both conflicts, the general officer corps designed to advise policymakers, prepare forces and conduct operations failed to perform its intended functions. To understand how the U.S. could face defeat at the hands of a weaker insurgent enemy for the second time in a generation, we must look at the structural influences that produce our general officer corps."
"To reward moral courage in our general officers, Congress must ask hard questions about the means and ways for war as part of its oversight responsibility. Some of the answers will be shocking, which is perhaps why Congress has not asked and the generals have not told. Congress must ask for a candid assessment of the money and manpower required over the next generation to prevail in the Long War. The money required to prevail may place fiscal constraints on popular domestic priorities. "
It is depressing to realise, that if members of this Administration bothered to read tis powerful and reflective esay , they wouldn't understand it and what is worst , wouldn't act. There is almost a need to see a re-run of Saigon over the Green Zone as the Sh-ite hordes swarm... and the NATO Alliance on Afghan shudders as soldiers are sent off to a certain death in the poppy fields.
Whilst he provides few answers he raises and identifies the major failures in the way the US selects it's senior military staff. However when you think General Myers was due to be sworn in as Supreme Commander of US forces days after 9/11 he spent that morning closeted in the office of Senator McClellan, beyond the reach of TV, radio, messengers, telephones, pagers whilst across the Potomac the Pentagon was hit by a missile... there are few who will be prepared to listen.
See also Armed Forces Journal "New rules for new enemies" 20th October 2006
BY LT. COL. JOHN A. NAGL & LT. COL. PAUL L. YINGLING
Lt. Col. John A Nagl is military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense. Lt. Col. Paul L. Yingling is deputy commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
" .... the costs of transforming the Army for the Long War pale in comparison to the risks of failing to do so. The U.S. is already fighting active insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we fail to bring stability to these states, their territories and populations will soon become instruments for spreading instability throughout the greater Middle East. Fragile governments such as those in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan may fall, endangering global oil supplies and nuclear nonproliferation controls. If we fail to dominate this conflict at the lower end of the spectrum, we may indeed find the need to fight a major theater war to impose stability on a region too vital to ignore. The costs of doing so will be exponentially greater than our current operations..."