Marcus Aurelius: CSA General Shinseki End of Tour Memorandum

Cultural Intelligence, Ethics, Government, Military
Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

GEN(R) Shinseki is catching flak, perhaps justified, perhaps not, for the deepening VA scandal.  Invite your attention to attached as an indicator of what the man is capable of.  Only issue I ever had with him was the black beret for everyone matter.


I think it ¡s important to point out that the Vision statement begins and ends talking about people. People are central to everything we do ¡n The Army. Institutions don’t transform; people do’. Platforms and organizations don’t defend the nation; people do. And finally, units don’t train; they don’t stay ready; they don’t grow and develop leadership; they don’t s’acrifice and they don’t take risks on behalf of the Nation; people do. Without people in the equation, readiness and transformation are little more than academic exercises.

PDF (12 Pasges): (U) GEN Shinseki 34th CSA End of Tour Memo to SECDEF 10Jun03

Phi Beta Iota: We strongly opposed the “insider” practice of throwing loyal and effective leaders “under the buss” as part of the media circus intended to distract from the fact that systemic failure is systemic, not personal. We have a Veterans issue because

1) we have been waging elective wars on the basis of lies — in the case of Iraq 935 now-documented lies;

2) we have an Executive and Legislature that no longer abide by the Constitution, including Article (responsibility of Congress to balance the pwoer of the executive and own both declarations of war and the power of the purse);

3) we have a defense PPBS/E system that is corrupt to the bone, favoring banks and corporations over peope — as General Bob Scales, USA (Ret) has observed, the infantry is 4% of the force, takes 80% of the casualties, and gets 1% of the budget — the failure to properly fund Veterans Affairs is squarely in this box;

4) we have been saving 16 to 1 instead of 4 to 1 on the battlefield, producing on the order of 75,000 ambutees concealed from the public, but not providing for their care — or the care of the hundreds of thousands tramatized by savage wars managed very badly by Washington, compounded by a state of permanent war and relentless multiple concussion incidents per infantry troop on the line.

General Shinseki’s memorandum is a brilliant bit of truth-telling and path-finding (see especially the bits on systems of systems, joint deployment failures keeping Army from the field, and leadership) that is as applicable today as when it was written in 2003.

Opt in for free daily update from this free blog. Separately The Steele Report ($11/mo) offers weekly text report and live webinar exclusive to paid subscribers, who can also ask questions of Robert. Or donate to ask questions directly of Robert.