Tuesday, April 18, 2006
New Armchair Generals
We have a passel of newly minted armchair generals
The problem with armchair generals is they think they know everything about war, strategy and tactics, management, and personnel. Newly minted armchair generals are even worse because they were recenty working generals in a shooting war, and undoubtedly have their frustrations with civilian leadership.
Now, however, their status is vastly different. They are bereft of command and the responsibilities that entails. They are far more removed from the facts on the ground. They should obey the principle and military tradition of keeping their mouths shut publically while the war rages on. Our current commanders in the battles we face deserve to be supported in their work, not shot in the back by miffed generals.
Their complaints are after the fact, old news, and in several cases, self-serving, meant to sell books or speaking engagements, or to bolster their friends in the opposition party during an election year. This is not the way our generals should act.
If they do have valuable advice to give, why don't they request an audience with the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, either singly or in concert? Why don't they write down their complaints and send them privately to the JCS, or even the President? After their attempts to advise the current leadership(once more into that breach), they should find a nice retirement home and go play golf with their co-armchair generals. None of the current crop have serious political futures, I believe.