Shek, et al,
We are not that far apart.
When I said the NSDMP corrupted the MDMP, it is true, that "this required the civilian leadership to do this and get it right." When the NSDMP got this wrong, it corrupted the planning and execution of the MDMP. The unintended consequences were born at this point.
I do not disagree with your history lesson. However, I don't accept the idea that we should expect or accept a leadership that is "dysfunctional" as a matter of course. Nor do I expect a failure at all the various levels that were suppose to provide oversight on such decisions.
Our leadership (The Administration, Congress, DOS, DOD) failed to do the critical thinking. And those that did, did not stand-up to be counted, except for a few generals. And they were dismissed.
Originally Posted by Wolfowitz Contradicts Shinseki over Iraqi Occupation: STRATFOR | Feb 28, 2003 | Staff
My thought here is that, in terms of the plan and oversight, CONGRESS fell prey to the old Burke adage: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." They were over confident in the leadership which lead to a cascade failure.
I agree, the NSDMP was broken when I was in Vietnam.
There was no eminent threat, no need for a rushed decision. It was an elective invasion.
I did not blame the Military Leadership any more (or any less) than I blame the Civilian Leadership.
And I don't consider GEN Petraeus holding any special insight on the conduct of the war. But he was a genuinely good follower of Administration Orders. Like GEN Casey before him, by keeping his mouth shut, he made his 4th Star.
Now here, you may (and I'm not totally convinced), have a point. Possibly a very significant point.
I might concede on this point, relative to the political leadership.
Originally Posted by Quote from: Hunt for the Red October
This is the question of whether the evolutionary process that develops poor leadership? Or, whether the quality of the stock is poor?
I sat on the veranda at the Baghdad Embassy, one night, with four O-6's. It was Cigar Night. All four were Academy Graduates. It was a tradition that dated, at least back to '04 and the ORHA Palace days. We would discuss the topics of the day in concept form. One night, we discussed the way we formulate strategies and policies and related the true nature of the situation. How we mold the truth to fit the agenda. I asked two simple questions to the table that brought a dead silence.
Q1: I asked if everyone remembered the Honor Code from the Academy.
A1: One AF Grad pumped it out in a heartbeat. "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."
Q2: If any of you were to be brought before the Honor Committee for some of the presentations, situational testimonials, and releases made to Administration or Congressional Officials, Diplomatic Corps, or Media, what would the outcome be?
A2: Dead Silence.
Slowly the discussion began to suggest that sometimes it is imperative to craft a picture intended to convey an alternative impression to reality, or to omit critical information that does not help the case one is trying to defend or promote. It was clear that as one ascends in rank and responsibility, the vision of what is a "lie or falsehood" begins to change.
This conversation evolved to the impact this has on the integrity of the military as it's honesty and integrity begins to be questioned; and if this is a quality the military wanted to foster. Like most questions and discussion, of such import and dynamics, while it was generally agreed that the military wanted to foster honesty and integrity, it could not resolve the imperative to project the image most favorable to the position they needed.
Did the process create the dilemma? Or --- did the people it promoted?
I don't suspect that this question will every be resolved. I tend to believe that the process, that does not honor truth through the life cycle of a career created the people. It was an unintended consequence of career development --- a lifetime of placating superiors.
Whatever the truth is, the image that the military is projecting has mixed reviews; both inside and outside of uniform. It creates an environment which fosters disclosures from anonymous sources and leaks to outright espionage.