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Nov 21

Further to these posts,

“Generally Mediocre”

US Army: “Generally Mediocre”, Part 2

Tom Ricks, amongst other things, has a conversation with the ghost of General of the Army George Catlett Marshall:

FP’s book club discussion of ‘The Generals’

Bob Killebrew has every right to invoke his own version of the ghost of George Marshall, especially because he was the guy several years ago who told me I should learn more about Marshall.

But when I interviewed Marshall’s ghost, contrary to Killebrew’s sense, Marshall was not at all pleased with the state of American generalship. Lots of little things puzzled and irked him. Yes, as Bob suspected, he didn’t understand why the Army has neglected professional military education, which should be its crown jewel during peacetime. He also was shocked to see so many retired generals making a bundle in the defense industry, and also endorsing political candidates and using the name of their services while doing so. Both struck Marshal as abuses of the profession.

But what bothered him most, the old white-haired general said in a slow, steady, quiet voice, was the failure of four-star generals to carry out their roles in dealing with their civilian superiors. He was shocked by the failure of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speak truth to power on several occasions, most notably during the Vietnam War and during the planning for the invasion of Iraq. Indeed, he almost lost his temper when discussing how Gen. Richard Myers allowed himself to be pushed around by Donald Rumsfeld. “How can you go to war without a strategic rationale?” he wondered…

More from Mr Ricks, for a comparison:

The Navy fires them two by two

Two skippers of amphibious ships were relieved for misconduct just weeks before they were due to turn over command. This makes 24 for the year, surpassing last year’s total, according to the official scorekeeper.

And one in Canada–navies do seem to be different:

HMCS Preserver commander relieved of command

Navy ship rammed into floating dock in Halifax Nov. 4

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

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