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When Leaders Become Followers

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling has an article in Armed Forces Journal, A failure in generalship, that looks at the performance of general officers in the preparation for and execution of the war in Iraq. The Colonel is, for the moment, still on active duty, and is a veteran of the Iraq war. You need to read this to understand how unhappy he is with the lack of leadership and honesty from the flag officers in the United States military.

My personal favorite sentence among many good points: “As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.”

Swopa, Kevin Hayden, Laura Rozen, Juan Cole, and the Washington Post‘s Tom Ricks all think you should read it.

4 comments

1 Kevin Hayden { 04.27.07 at 4:55 pm }

Btw, Bill Moyers will be on PBS tonight with Jon Stewart, Josh Marshall, and a tribute to Halberstam.

2 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 5:14 pm }

It’s good to have the Rev back in the saddle. He isn’t afraid to speak the truth.

3 BadTux { 04.27.07 at 5:17 pm }

Ouch. I’m not sure whether Lt. Colonel Yingling is letting go a final salvo prior to retirement or aiming for promotion or is doing this at the instigation of DoD secretary Gates in some attempt to light a fire under senior general officers, but I suspect fur is going to fly shortly…

4 Bryan { 04.27.07 at 7:09 pm }

It’s possible he already knows he isn’t getting his “bird” and wants to go out in a “blaze of glory” after seeing a group of “suck ups” in the list. The last several Air Force chiefs have been really worthless chunks of garbage, playing with uniform design and caving on base closures while ignoring staffing and mission issues.

It’s well past the time when fur should fly.