Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fire 'em all, I say

LTC Bateman doesn't go quite that far, but figures there's at least some that need firing and haven't been. Along the way there's a lot of good info about how we got to this point, where Presidents are apparently afraid to can their generals. I'm not sure that his "BRAC for Generals" solution would be a workable one, as if there's anything we've learned from BRAC, it's that despite its intention of reducing the amount of politics involved, it does nothing but increase the politicking. Giving Congress this much power, especially in an occasionally unpopular war (as most of our future wars are likely to be) is a recipe for disaster.

That said, something needs to be done, because 7 years at war without a general fired (besides the abysmal Karpinski) isn't a good thing. Of course, we need to be careful about setting the metrics, because some generals aren't the best at unconventional warfare. That's fine, but a sign of a good officer is the ability to adapt. Some have. Others wouldn't or couldn't, and when that becomes apparent is when they need to get fired. And make no mistake, firing is the only acceptable outcome. Undeserved promotions or normal retirements are unacceptable. Examples must be made. The SECDEF apparently understands this with at least one service, it would be nice if he could convince the President to apply the same standard to the rest.

h/t: Danger Room