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  • Is this guy for real?

    Care to read and comment?:

    The Next War

    It's always looming. But has our military learned the right lessons from this one to fight it and win?

    By Wesley K. Clark Washington Post | Sunday, September 16, 2007; B01

    "Testifying before Congress last week, Gen. David H. Petraeus appeared commanding, smart and alive to the challenges that his soldiers face in Iraq. But he also embodied what the Iraq conflict has come to represent: an embattled, able, courageous military at war, struggling to maintain its authority and credibility after 4 1/2 years of a "cakewalk" gone wrong."

    " That brings us to the military's leaders. We need generals who are well-educated, flexible and culturally adept men and women -- not just warriors, not just technicians. Why aren't more military leaders sent to top schools such as Princeton, the way Petraeus was, or given opportunities to earn PhDs, as did Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates's military assistant, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli? For years, Congress has whacked away at military-education budgets, thereby driving gifted officers from the top-flight graduate schools where they could have honed their analytical skills and cultural awareness."

    "Still, let's not be too hard on ourselves. As an institution, the U.S. Armed Forces stands head and shoulders above any other military in skill, equipment and compassion, and its leaders are able, conscientious and loyal."

    "So, steady as we go. We need to tweak our force structure, hone our leadership and learn everything we can about how to do everything better. But the big lesson is simply this: War is the last, last, last resort. It always brings tragedy and rarely brings glory. Take it from a general who won: The best war is the one that doesn't have to be fought, and the best military is the one capable and versatile enough to deter the next war in the first place."

    Full article here: http://securingamerica.com/node/2671
    My take on it: I usually reserve my political viewpoints for the "not of any party" affiliation (hating all career politicians equally), however as of late I notice that more and more Democrats are really making these named personal attacks against Generals. And this is pissing off a whole lotta vets. First Gen. Petraeus, and now going after Gen. Chiarelli. I don't think these folks realize that they are alienating a large portion of an entirely new generation of vets.

    Shame, Clark's credentials are great, but his rhetoric ruins it for me.
    Welcome to the adult world. Kinda sucks when you have to be the responsible ones and take all the pot shots from the chagrined lefties and mongoloid celebrities, who don't know their collective posteriors from sound economic policy. - 98ZJUSMC

  • #2
    It's an interesting read. The idea of an 'educated military' seems silly from the viewpoint of independent thought. The idea being that they might start questioning orders given their 'education'. It seems smart from the viewpoint of flexibility and the ability to change the plan with the circumstances.
    My personal view is that the US military does NOT stand head and shoulders above anybody except in terms of equipment. That's its problem. Big picture the US fights with its penis and bank account without regard for its heart or mind. I guess that may be what the authour of the article hopes to address.
    Peace
    The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
    Sideshow Bob.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hmm Wesley K. Clark, he's an ex general correct? Someone that is even considered a definitive general correct?

      You would think his views would at least mean something. So, if that is what he thinks, then why so much trouble with what he thinks?

      Oh it's because he votes in a way that you don't like?

      From an outside observer's point of view, Iraq is doing as much damage to American society, as it's doing to Iraq physically.
      Life is change. Built models for decades.
      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
      I didn't for a long time either.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Aries View Post
        Hmm Wesley K. Clark, he's an ex general correct? Someone that is even considered a definitive general correct?

        You would think his views would at least mean something. So, if that is what he thinks, then why so much trouble with what he thinks?

        Oh it's because he votes in a way that you don't like?

        From an outside observer's point of view, Iraq is doing as much damage to American society, as it's doing to Iraq physically.
        The way he votes has nothing to do with it. I subscribe to no party, and firmly believe that partisan politics are the worst aspect of democracy (although I see you drew some skewed conculsion that I have a reservation with the way he votes, which frankly I could care less). My reservations lie with:

        1. In the last few weeks since General Petraeus made his appearance, there has been an escalation of personal jabs at currently serving Generals, not just by him but others as well from the Democratic party.

        2. Having been a General I would expect a little more professional approach than insinutaing that a General went to such and such school simply because of his assignment.

        3. He goes on in his article to insinuate that the digitization of the army was a waste, yet he was one of the prinicpal architects and supports of Force XXI.

        Noone's foolish enough to state no mistakes have been made in Iraq. Plenty have, and most are as plain as the nose on your face. I don't think any administration could or will do diddly in Iraq, much less this one or any of the prospective ones.
        Welcome to the adult world. Kinda sucks when you have to be the responsible ones and take all the pot shots from the chagrined lefties and mongoloid celebrities, who don't know their collective posteriors from sound economic policy. - 98ZJUSMC

        Comment


        • #5
          On the issue of Wesley Clark...

          "I won´t start World War III for you!"
          --British Gen. Sir Michael Jackson's reply to then Deputy SACEUR Gen Wesley Clark, when Clark ordered Jackson to confront Russian troops occupying Pristina Airport in Kosovo.

          “I’ve known Wes for a long time... I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart..."
          --Gen. Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the JCS discussing why Gen. Clark was removed from his position as SACEUR.

          "I would have been a Republican if Karl Rove had returned my phone calls."
          --Candidate Wes Clark explaining how he chose to run as a Democrat for President in 2000.
          Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Democrats are in a fix right now. Whatever they thought of GEN Petraeus, he's made a recommendation in a hearing in Congress.

            They may choose to disregard it, but they will have to consider the facts that the American public trusts this chap's integrity and competence and that the Surge had demonstrated some success (but has not solved all problems of course, an unreasonable expectation).

            But most importantly, if they go against his advice, and the situation in the Middle East deteriorates badly, and US credibility world wide crashes, they will look really, really bad. It will be like the Jimmy Carter presidency all over again.

            The MoveOn crowd might want to move on, but for those Democrats who actually have to face an election in a bit more than one year's time, there's no easy option. They can't stick with the current Iraq policy, and they can't stick it to the General's recommendation. Both will damage their electoral performances, one by alienating their base, and the other by possibly alienating 'moderates' (i.e. ordinary folks who just want to go about their normal lives).

            By comparison, the Republicans have a slightly easier time in that the status quo is where comfortably where they want to be, to appear strong in the Republican's strong suit of national security.

            I'm not an American, and I'm certainly not a political analyst, but the way I see it, with the calming of the situation in Iraq now, it really isn't going to remain a hot button issue for long, whereas National Security is. The two are linked, though, and weakness in Iraq in the face of an American victory will translate over all to an image of weakness in National Security in general.

            So, a smart Democrat must only pay lip service to his MoveOn base, but trek towards the status quo. He will then play on social issues, which are the Democrats' strong suit.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Geek44 View Post
              It's an interesting read. The idea of an 'educated military' seems silly from the viewpoint of independent thought. The idea being that they might start questioning orders given their 'education'. It seems smart from the viewpoint of flexibility and the ability to change the plan with the circumstances.
              My personal view is that the US military does NOT stand head and shoulders above anybody except in terms of equipment. That's its problem. Big picture the US fights with its penis and bank account without regard for its heart or mind. I guess that may be what the authour of the article hopes to address.
              Peace
              An 'educated' army is not silly. The Vietnam GI was on average the most formally educated soldier in the world, many had college degrees. We were the first to ask 'why' when given an order. This has made the US Army much stronger since the commanding force now knows that they must explain to their troops why they are putting their lives in danger. This is also the major reason that morale of USA troops is so high.

              Of course the USA military stands head and shoulders above most other military. They are better trained, better equipped, fed better and taken care of medically better than any other military force.

              Your poor charicture of the USA military shows your bias and ignorance of the facts.
              "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Arkane View Post
                Care to read and comment?:



                My take on it: I usually reserve my political viewpoints for the "not of any party" affiliation (hating all career politicians equally), however as of late I notice that more and more Democrats are really making these named personal attacks against Generals. And this is pissing off a whole lotta vets. First Gen. Petraeus, and now going after Gen. Chiarelli. I don't think these folks realize that they are alienating a large portion of an entirely new generation of vets.

                Shame, Clark's credentials are great, but his rhetoric ruins it for me.
                I think your reading comprehension is a tad off.....Clark is saying that more Generals need to be like Petraeus and Chiarelli.
                #occupyarmchairgeneral.
                Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. Demosthenes.
                Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. Laurence J. Peter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arkane View Post
                  2. Having been a General I would expect a little more professional approach than insinutaing that a General went to such and such school simply because of his assignment.
                  Clark is simply criticizing the "warrior" image. He feels our officer corps would be better prepared to fight future wars if they were educated at colleges like Princeton rather than let's say West Point or one of the traditional military schools. He also criticizes Congress for cutting funding, preventing more officers from obtaining higher degrees such as Ph.D.s

                  I agree with this overall. Wars today, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, demand military leaders be capable of understanding and developing strategies sensitive to the local culture and traditions.

                  Originally posted by Arkane View Post
                  3. He goes on in his article to insinuate that the digitization of the army was a waste, yet he was one of the prinicpal architects and supports of Force XXI.
                  What is wrong with that? Clark doesn't defend his ideals on Force XXI. He feels we need to go in a different direction. Again, I agree. We should invest more in technology to aid individual soldiers fighting in the complexed environment of OOTW.

                  Originally posted by Arkane View Post
                  Noone's foolish enough to state no mistakes have been made in Iraq. Plenty have, and most are as plain as the nose on your face. I don't think any administration could or will do diddly in Iraq, much less this one or any of the prospective ones.
                  We have to do more than just recognize our past errors. We must learn and adapt to help ensure past mistakes are not repeated.
                  "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Educated top brass are very important because they cant just arbritrarily follow orders from the C in C, they need to adjust and adapt them as situations change on the ground,something which can't be done from the oval office or Downing Street.I believe Petreus as the thinking man's soldier was a bit of an outcast in the Pentagon a few years back looked upon as a bit of a wet intelectual by the "warrior" officers. He was all in favour of a multi faceted strategy (see 101st airborne under him in Mosul in 2003-4 and see what happened after they were pulled out)in terms of an insurgents war and only a handful of of commanders were with him.He'd have fitted in an officers mess in Northern Ireland. Its ironic now that the White House has turned to him after the gung ho commanders and their tactics had failed. Is this a realisation of a need for change or a last gamble. We'll have to see.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                      An 'educated' army is not silly. The Vietnam GI was on average the most formally educated soldier in the world, many had college degrees. We were the first to ask 'why' when given an order. This has made the US Army much stronger since the commanding force now knows that they must explain to their troops why they are putting their lives in danger. This is also the major reason that morale of USA troops is so high.

                      Of course the USA military stands head and shoulders above most other military. They are better trained, better equipped, fed better and taken care of medically better than any other military force.

                      Your poor charicture of the USA military shows your bias and ignorance of the facts.
                      Take it easy mate. It's a debate...I accept I may be wrong but it's my opinion for now. I reckon the US military is stuck in an 'airstrike/artillery' cycle. Hmmm, Arclight and Linebacker in Vietnam. B-52s based in Guam drop tons of explosives on a piece of dirt track because a listening device detected a guy on a bicycle...Excellent, just excellent.
                      Take away your aircraft, missiles, nukes and satellite technology and wealth. What are you then? Same as everybody else.
                      Are you even able to look at it objectively? As an American, no you ain't.
                      I'll stand corrected by you about the education thing but I'll stand by the rest of what I said. Let's hope your guys have the right maps this time. Oh yeah...Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan...how are you gunna twist it so that your guys saved our asses?
                      The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                      Sideshow Bob.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the more educated and army is, the better results it gets.

                        one should not forget that the reason the US was so powerfull uring and following ww2 is that it had at the times one of the most educated poppulation and workforce in the world.
                        "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                          the more educated and army is, the better results it gets.

                          one should not forget that the reason the US was so powerfull uring and following ww2 is that it had at the times one of the most educated poppulation and workforce in the world.
                          How does education help you win wars?
                          The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                          Sideshow Bob.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It seems that the US Army is doing the same as it did during WW2. The entrenched gung ho officer class is being replaced with skillful and educated managers. Look at the attrition rate of senior officers in the first 18 months after Pearl Harbour. Marshall was sacking commmanders faster than he was recruiting. War, in general, brings the competent and the incompetent to the surface. The US military and DoD seem to be culling the deadwood. The big question is does the current administration have the courage to listen to the opinion of those that don't agree with them, or will they continue to shout down any dissention from their stated position. Just because you don't agree with someone doen't mean they aren't right, or that their way may not be in fact be more effective.
                            War. Young men killing each other for the benefit of old men!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by leatchy View Post
                              It seems that the US Army is doing the same as it did during WW2. The entrenched gung ho officer class is being replaced with skillful and educated managers. Look at the attrition rate of senior officers in the first 18 months after Pearl Harbour. Marshall was sacking commmanders faster than he was recruiting. War, in general, brings the competent and the incompetent to the surface. The US military and DoD seem to be culling the deadwood. The big question is does the current administration have the courage to listen to the opinion of those that don't agree with them, or will they continue to shout down any dissention from their stated position. Just because you don't agree with someone doen't mean they aren't right, or that their way may not be in fact be more effective.
                              What a beautifully timed post. Careful mate...you might get negative rep.
                              The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                              Sideshow Bob.

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