Friday, April 27, 2007

Military Leadership Ran Out of Patience

Definitely, the Republic pundits are telling us, don't give Congress authority over the war. Forget the Constitution. Give the cretin in chief a chance to end it as he began it, on his own.

That doesn't go over with the most successful tactician in the Iraq history, whose campaign in Tal Afar was used as a model for the security campaign now underway in Baghdad.

For the second time in a generation, the United States faces the prospect of defeat at the hands of an insurgency. In April 1975, the U.S. fled the Republic of Vietnam, abandoning our allies to their fate at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. In 2007, Iraq's grave and deteriorating condition offers diminishing hope for an American victory and portends risk of an even wider and more destructive regional war.

These debacles are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America's general officer corps. America's generals have failed to prepare our armed forces for war and advise civilian uthorities on the application of force to achieve the aims of policy. The argument that follows consists of three elements. First, generals have a responsibility to society to provide policymakers with a correct estimate of strategic probabilities. Second, America's generals in Vietnam and Iraq failed to perform this responsibility. Third, remedying the crisis in American generalship requires the intervention of Congress.

The Responsibilities of Generalship

Armies do not fight wars; nations fight wars. War is not a military activity conducted by soldiers, but rather a social activity that involves entire nations.

Lt. Col. Yingling knows as well as Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi know that we are failing in achieving anything positive, and we will continue to fail if the "stay the course" mentality continues to be allowed full sway.

Time for the American public to speak loudly, as it has in the vote and the polls, and tell its leadership to exercise rational judgment in the American interest. If the present leadership isn't capable of it, we need to change, now.

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