LeRoy Collins Commentary 98

Commentary #98
15 October 2007

Generals...a commentary

Ted, here is another of those articulate "war college" essays which tend to get more traction than they often deserve. First of all it is written by a relatively young officer with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, and at a time that it is obvious that things should be going better for U.S. forces after all this elapsed time of armed combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost ANY suggestions for change at such times are accorded center-stage, because the Nation wants to stem the arterial bleeding of resources and blood, albeit less than in wars past.

But his conclusion pales in comparison to his scholarly workup of history, and his dramatic description of the inadequacies of the present. He throws the situation upon the Congress for solution, i.e. insisting our Flag Officers should know a foreign language, be more schooled in social issues, and present their professional views with greater candor. The problem with that "conclusion" is that less than 30% of the Congress have ever served in the U.S. Military, and none seem to have backgrounds in the complexities of higher command where these “problems” currently reside. Ergo, the Congress has the power and money to affect some changes, but it does not appear to have the experience, focus, nor apparent discipline to provide the reasoned long-term solutions.

Under these circumstances, I believe that the more sensible solutions are likely to be forthcoming from some of the think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute (e.g. Newt Gingrich, Michael Ledeen, et al...and perhaps a dash of Colin Powell). And, such guidance must be embraced by the Commander-in-Chief, whoever he or she may be at the time. Oh yes, we must not forget...the Commander-in-Chief is typically the best informed American we have.

You have a better idea? /s/ Roy


This is a very "critical" article on the direction of the military and its leadership. The writer better be close to retirement.


/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.


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