Worth a Look: A Year Ago This Week, Slam on Generals


A brave lieutenant colonel speaks out: why most of our generals are dinosaurs

Posted By Thomas E. Ricks Thursday, January 22, 2009

Army Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, one of the best officers I've encountered in Iraq, recently gave a talk at the Marine base at Quantico, Va., about military leadership and adaptation.

Yingling is unusual but not alone in being willing to speak out about the flaws of the leaders of the U.S. military. Once you have seen buddies be killed or maimed in Iraq on your first, second, and third tours there, you tend to realize that war is too important to be left to the generals. Yingling knows what he is getting into: In 2007, he got a lot of notice for an article he wrote asking why American generals weren't held accountable for their failures in Iraq. “A private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war,” he concluded.

In his Quantico talk he explains, among other things, why the U.S. Army in Iraq has improved dramatically while the “institutional Army” back here hasn't.

But let him tell it.  [Click on Dinosaur]

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