Fish rot from the head: Senior Officers Behaving Badly

Earlier today Townie directed us to an article praising Commandant of the Marine Corps General Dunford. It was good to see the general performing the physical fitness test. From the looks of things, being a leader AND a flag officer are becoming mutually exclusive. From XBradTC: If naval officers were guilty of bribery or other misconduct, by all means, haul them in front of a court martial or a federal court. But do not allow the process to become the punishment, particularly when that process is fouling the duties of others with no direct connection to the scandal. [emphasis added by author] […]

Knowledge Management & the Competence of Officers

In an earlier post advocating abolishing West Point and the other service academies (and I would belatedly include the Merchant Marine Academy since we have no merchant fleets), the question of the value of the academies is a red herring. The value of the academies is not its graduates, grounds, or current body of students and staff. The value of the academies is the information stored, developed and conveyed to students. This information is what the academies hold onto with a Vulcan death-grip. ROTC and OCS can not compete because they do not have access to the information, nor to the men […]

A Response to Fallows’ Civ/Mil Divide

Appearing in NRO: Essentially — [Fallows] argues — our nation’s overwhelming respect for the military allows it (and the politicians who support it) to escape effective scrutiny. Given free rein, it plans poorly, purchases poorly, and — ultimately — loses its wars. Some of the points Fallows makes are unassailable. Who’s willing to defend the military’s overall efficiency in procurement and weapons development? And his section on the so-far disappointing and absurdly expensive F-35 makes for depressing reading. He also highlights a number of entirely proper cultural and political concerns that arise when such a small percentage of the population do all […]

A Force Adrift?

What say you on THIS? Chapter One leads with, “After 13 years of war, troops feel burned out and without a sense of mission. More doubt their leaders and their job security.” There’s a lot of information there. Please do read and lodge your comments.

“They Fired the Wrong Guy”

This just in from Cop-Turned-Bureaucrat, regarding Hagel etc., “Failure of State: They Fired the Wrong Guy”– The firing of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense raises more questions than it answers. Is it correct to blame military failures on the military establishment when the executive has not articulated a foreign policy based upon clear and sustainable national interests?  Is it proper to criticize the Secretary of Defense for discussing foreign policy issues when the Secretary of State has failed to bring forth a coherent foreign policy? The state of play in Washington, not only currently, but over the last decade, […]

Ricks* on Hagel: Why It Went South

Ouch. Not pretty but based on my personal experience (not first-hand, but hearing directly from those who did have first-hand experience, in oblique but unmistakeable terms), also not inaccurate. Spontaneous cheers could be heard in many Pentagon offices as the surprise news of Hagel’s resignation spread. Although Hagel’s predecessors, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, were hugely popular, few Pentagon wonks developed warm feelings for Hagel. Drawing on conversations from a mix of senior executives and mid-level officials, political appointees and career government servants, hawks and doves, and Republicans and Democrats, this post presents an insider view on why Hagel failed […]

Nomination in for Next SecDef

Ashton Carter. His name is not unfamiliar to those of us who work in the building. What I found most impressive, however, are his credentials from his earlier uniformed service, such as this:   And this–   Holy shit!! Did you see that?? I had to read it again, just to be sure I got it right. I don’t know about you, but there’s a man I’d follow into battle. Just the man we need in times like these.

Administration vs Pentagon

An illuminating article from the WaPo a few days ago. WASHINGTON — On a trip to Afghanistan during President Barack Obama’s first term, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was stunned to find a telephone line at the military’s special operations headquarters that linked directly back to a top White House national security official. “I had them tear it out while I was standing there,” Gates said earlier this month as he recounted his discovery. “I told the commanders, ‘If you get a call from the White House, you tell them to go to hell and call me.’” To Gates, the phone […]

With National Security in near ruins, Obama finally listens to GOP

Buttercup has been fired. This may be the only good news. The POTUS always triples down with anti-war and/or left of left politicians. Is tax-dodger John Kerry next?

A Man worth Following

Yesterday Senator James Webb announced an exploratory bid for the presidency.  I honestly never thought of him as a Candidate for the job.  The reality is that the bench on the Democratic side is extraordinarily slim.  The Republicans have a few guys I’d take a look at.  Many of you might recall him as the combat boot wearing candidate who ran for the Virginia Senate seat.  Although it was in solidarity of his son who was deployed at the time.  Webb, a Marine, is a Combat Veteran of Vietnam who was award for conspicuous gallantry on numerous occasions, an accomplished […]