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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:11 AM
Original message
DUers who have served in the miliatary: What do you think of the generals
of this war--particularly Tommy Frank and Peter Pace? In my own personal opinion, I think they've sold their troops out for power and face time on teevee. The generals who stood up honorably were fired. But then, I may be misunderstanding something about military culture.
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. I agree with you. Tommy Frank and Peter Pace sold out to become politcians basically.
But Rummy saw to it that he'd only be surrounded by yes men who would throw out anything they had learned about proper military planning in order to support his mis-guided vision about what the military is about and how it should be properly run.
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. How does Wesley Clark fit in this category?
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TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. He doesn't. Gen Clark isn't a General of this war......
But as a civilian (with 35+ years of military experience) who is allowed to express his opinion and offer feedback, his concerns should carry added weight!
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Was Clark relieved of his command which may be why
he is not involved in this war?
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Wes was about to retire ......
From pages 408-412 of Waging Modern War (hardcover) by Wesley K. Clark:

. . . as we were dining with Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, a soldier from my communications team came to the table and interrupted the conversation. "Sir, General Shelton is on the phone and says he needs to speak to you on an urgent matter."

* * *

Shelton said it was all right, no secure phone was needed. He wanted to inform me that Secretary Cohen had made the decision that I would come out of my command in April 2000.

I stood there, stunned. Was I being relieved of duty? And why now? SACEURs (Supreme Allied Commander - Europe) were expected to serve at least three full years. They are usually asked to extend for a fourth. But now, having just completed my second year at NATO, I was being told that my term would end in nine months.

The timing of the phone call was a surprise as well. I had just been in the States for a conference with the other regional commanders in chief and had spent a full day with Hugh Shelton. He had said nothing.

* * *

I asked Shelton why Secretary Cohen had made this decision, and why now. To depart early, after public speculation during the war about my difficult relations with the Pentagon, would look bad for everyone. Were they just clumsy? Or was this the result of the buildup of bad feelings? Were they trying to get back at me? I was at a loss to understand.

Shelton explained that Joe Ralston, the Vice Chairman, was the only possible replacement for me as SACEUR, that his four years as Vice Chairman were to end in February, and so, by law, he would need to be in a new position within 60 days or he would be forced to revert temporarily to two-star rank. Therefore, I would have to come out early. Anyway, he went on, I had served longer than the average SACEUR.

It didn't wash. I was sure that legal arrangements could have been made to enable me to complete the three full years. And I knew that the excuses about the average SACEUR tenure weren't factual. So, was this just a way of easing me out early, without admitting it?

* * *



But before I could reach Shelton, another call came in. "Sir, there's a, er, I think, Bill Graham, holding on the line for you. Would you like to talk to him first?" The communications officer sounded uncertain about the first name.

Graham? Senator Bob Graham? Don Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post? "OK," I said, "put him through."

"Hello, General. This is Bradley Graham of the Washington Post. I just heard that you were to be replaced next year by General Joe Ralston, and wondered if you could confirm it.

* * *

The publicity lasted for a few weeks, echoing through Europe. The White House denied responsibility, and there was reportedly a lot of internal heat about how the decision had been executed. The President was asked about my removal in a press conference in Europe and expressed complete satisfaction with my performance. "I had nothing to do with it," he told me privately.
http://www.intel-dump.com/archives/archive_2004_01_11-2...
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Nickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. I should have qualified my statement better. I mean they became politicians while still holding
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 07:17 AM by Nickster
their current military positions and hoping to leverage off of their bowing to the current admin to further their own careers. They've put their careers before their men, which to me is the ultimate insult to our soldiers. Rummy sought these kind of people out and removed anyone who would support proper planning in the Pentagon.

I personally am not a big fan of Gen Clark's but I wouldn't put him in the same category of Pace or Franks at all.
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Submariner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. Tommy Franks knew Iraq was going to turn into a shitstorm
which is why he retired immediately after the initial invasion..."Mission Accomplished" so to speak. Somewhat unheard of to retire as a war is just getting into gear. Admiral Nimitz, Generals MacArthur, Patton, Bradley, et al did not retire as WWII got into gear.

Pace and the others are what is referred to in the military as "Yes men". Cow-towing to preserve their careers....Period.
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. You don't get to be a general unless you are the consummate yes man,
Look at Colin Powell.

And Rummy fired all the higher star generals and replaced
with one stars who would do and say anything for Rummy.
They wanted more stars.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
5. I only know one general who is still serving today.
And I'll bet you he thinks Bush is crazy as Hell! I also bet he's pissed because of the way the neocons have used up the military. I know the man cares very much, about the people and the fighting equipment under his command. When I finally do see the General I'm talking about on TV, I'll know the shit is about to REALLY hit the fan. This guy is into being a General...not a TV star!
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. Pretty is as pretty does.
Vietnam had its General Westmoreland, Iraq has this bunch.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
10. I remember when General Westmoreland was replaced by Gen. Abrams...
in Vietnam. I think it was right after Tet '68, if my memory serves me right?
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stoxx Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. From an escapee from that culture-
The military holds onto those willing to embrace the insular culture and spews out the unwilling.

I had no real inkling of civilian life until my teens, and tried to join back up when I came of age, only to be told I was medically disqualified. Eventually, I got a Real Job.

In my time, the officers and enlisted that wanted to get ahead spouted the party line (so that one could be assured that if a bad guy got you, your buddy would off the enemy), and their wives were expected to volunteer at the clubs, the thrift shop, the clinic, the school, etc. The only ones that could speak their minds while on active duty were the ones retiring or resigning. Even those around the top served under the pleasure of the very top. Look at the cashiering of Shinseki for suggesting Iraq needed more troops on the ground at the outset.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Does it not start at the top
With a commander-in-chief who can delegate, who actually listens to advice, who demands accountability not only from his SOD but every private as well-an effective military is possible, no? It never was or should be a democratic institution.

Never served, so I'm just askin'.

BTW, welcome to DU

:bounce: :toast: :bounce:
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. Hi stoxx!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. I had a little Memorial Day rant about this subject:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
14. The decision to go to war was made by flyers: W, Rumsfeld and Meyers.
Franks was actually reluctant but bought into it.

Peter Pace is a total toadie. His speech at Arlington Cemetery last Memorial Day is the speech of a political toadie.
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PsN2Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Not just fliers
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 10:13 AM by PsN2Wind
but two of the three were not combat fliers.
Dubya with his spotty record after daddy got him a plum billet and Rummy, retired from Naval Reserves as a Captain. I saw a lot of active duty Navy pilots retire as LtCmdrs but they weren't political.
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Shipwack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
16. There are few officers worth a damn above the rank of lieutenant...
The higher you go, the fewer there are. As others have said, in today's military, it's the yes-men that get the good evaluations. This used to be limited to the officer corps, but in the last few years I saw this attitude infecting the senior enlisted corps (yes, I am a bitter sailor.)

Example of officers whose careers went far... Several years ago, the admiral in charge of the Navy's strategic weapons program (sub launched nuclear missiles) visited our submarine for a tour. My chief was in charge of a portion, eagerly pointing out various design deficiencies and problems we were having. The admiral seemed to be in a fog, and disinterested. When a LCD monitor with navigation data was pointed out, he woke up.

Sounding a little angry, he asked, "Isn't there a memo saying that LCD monitors aren't allowed on board submarines because they emit radiation?". For the non technically inclined, the exact opposite is true. LCD monitors emit almost zero radiation, when compared to regular TV type monitors. However, instantly his band of sycophants started a mighty suction on his ass and exclaimed "yes sir, good thing you'll remembered that admiral... we'll get right on looking that up admiral.." Guess who probably were getting good fitness reports, and who was chosen to head a weapons systems despite having no technical background.

I would have (gently) corrected this (my career was non existent, I cared not for fallout), but I was literally stunned at both the lack of knowledge, and the lavish amount of ego-boosting being applied.

To be fair, in the same time frame, I met the head of Naval Reactors. While the odds of him being an ass-hat to work for are high, he was very friendly to almost everyone, and knowledgeable about technical issues, even ones outside of engineering.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
17. Like most brass. Lackeys and yes men who do the masters bidding.
Then they weep crocodile tears for the cannon-fodder and "collateral damage" they produced and tack some more tinware on their chests.
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PsN2Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
18. The "Perfumed Princes in the Pentagon"
as Hackworth referred to them are much more politician than military. Most that achieve Flag Rank are more concerned about career and its payoffs than the grunts that are doing the heavy lifting.
There are no more Pattons that lead from the front or Eisenhowers that prepare a letter of apology and resignation, accepting responsibility for failure of an operation, before the operation is launched.
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dollydew Donating Member (127 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
19. I don't know
I've met a former chairman of the JCS. Seen Colin Powell speak. I've met the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. I've met several other Generals and full birds. A group of retired Generals (and one full Colonel)did testify on CSPAN. To a person they said Rumsfeld must go. I think they care but since the President is the CIC there's not much they can do. You do give up some of the rights you put on the uniform for.
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
21. I'm glad I'm out.
I could never follow these morans.
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
22. I have been in the military and also worked for a large global corporation.


Senior military officers are like the middle managers you find in most large companies.

Some do what is good for the employees (the troops) and the company (the country).

Some just say and do whatever makes them look good in the eyes of their superiors (SecDef & Prez).






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