Epidemic of lapdog generals

| November 23, 2021 | 16 Comments

Gen Milley (CJCS), SecDef Austin, and Gen McKenzie (CENTCOM)

In the fall of Afghanistan we saw a lot of failures, but perhaps the most striking is the failure of leadership at the highest levels of the US military. Especially among the three men at the table who held the most power over the withdrawal. All three have claimed at various times to accept some or all of the responsibility, but none have done anything but let their words ring hollow. They haven’t resigned or even offered their resignation, which is the typical thing to do when there has been such an abysmal failure on your watch.

KoB sends in this Fox opinion article;

President Biden’s top military advisers should have predicted Afghanistan’s imminent collapse – and then offered their resignations if the commander in chief refused to modify his withdrawal plans, a former deputy commander told Fox News.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Central Command head Gen. Kenneth McKenzie had a responsibility to stand firm if they believed the fast-paced troop withdrawal would end in catastrophe, retired Marine Col. Andrew Milburn told Fox News.

“Can you imagine if those three or even two out of three had offered their resignation?” Milburn, a former Special Operations Central deputy commander, said. “You don’t think that might have caused the president to think twice?”

He argued that all three are products of a culture the military has fostered that favors leaders who are obedient, rather than principled freethinkers.

“I think they’re products of a culture that has arisen within the U.S. military that simply does not encourage innovative thinking or creative thinking,” Milburn, who spent 31 years in the military, told Fox News. “That rewards perhaps obedience above all else.”

“I think within our organizations, the Joint Force, we sadly have a culture that does not always see the most strong-willed creative thinkers rise to the top,” he continued. “It’s a culture that I think is amiss.”

To date, no one has been held accountable for failing to predict the Taliban’s swift seizure of Kabul while U.S. citizens still inhabited the city. Milburn said the Afghan government’s collapse should have been obvious.

“How are these three holding themselves responsible? I’ve seen all three of them during the 90-day period use that term,” Milburn said of Austin, Milley and McKenzie.

“It’s very difficult to explain exactly what that means if you continue in office,” he added. “Holding yourself responsible often is a prelude to resignation. Not always, but … that’s really the ultimate sanction. So, it is hard to take them seriously.”

Milburn said the trio has “rendered their own words hollow.”

He pointed to a Sept. 28 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing where Milley testified that he wouldn’t resign because the service members in Kabul couldn’t refuse their orders. The general said it would be unfair to abandon his duties while enlisted men couldn’t.

Milburn told Fox News that Milley’s testimony “showed that he didn’t have a good understanding of his professional ethics” and called his reasoning “illogical.”

While explaining why he didn’t resign, Milley also testified that the nation “does not want generals figuring out what orders we are going to accept.” He emphasized the importance of civilian control of the military.

But Milburn said the American public’s wishes aren’t “really the only arbiter of making that moral decision because … his oath was to the Constitution.”

“It’s not necessarily, what the American public would like,” Milburn continued. “It is what does he feel his duty to the Constitution is. Not to any particular person.”

Milley also testified that he only serves as an adviser to the president and that the commander in chief can choose to ignore his counsel.

While Milburn agreed, he also said that if Austin and McKenzie gave the same advice, that a particular order could cause a catastrophe as bad as the Afghanistan withdrawal, “wouldn’t you make a firmer stand?”

“That is the time to stand your ground and simply say, ‘no boss. I’ll give you my resignation,'” Milburn told Fox News. “That should be our collective expectation of these people.”

More of the retired colonel’s opinions on the matter at the source.

Category: Afghanistan, Big Pentagon, DC Government

Comments (16)

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  1. 2banana says:

    When is Gen Milley gonna talk to the troops about “Black Rage?”

  2. Mustang Major says:

    Say what you want, but these guys look good on sidelines of the Army Navy game. The rest of what they do- not so good.

  3. Deckie says:

    “Full victory. Nothing else.”

    Ike is rolling in his grave.

    These men shouldn’t even be in charge of a squad in Call of Duty.

  4. KoB says:

    Welp, it’s obvious that Patton has had his last re-incarnation…he won’t be coming back.

    “…defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    • Av8or33 says:

      These guys had the opportunity to be remembered as men of courage and character now their legacy will be one of self serving cowardice. I understand civilian control and chain of command but an example of courage may have saved us from this debacle.

  5. SGT Ted says:

    Well, they get what they reward. Loyalty over principles is a recipe for disaster at best and tyranny at worst.

  6. Jay says:

    Hey, they’re gonna retire after their 40: draw their 100% retirement, plus whatever VA they finagle, plus whatever kush commenting/consulting job they can pull. They’re fine.

  7. Generaly saying, I won’t say anything about Moe, Larry and Curly.

  8. Devtun says:

    COL Dave Hackworth blew the whistle on the ticket punching ‘Perfumed Princes’ in Vietnam, and in the U.S. Army as a whole. Boy, the Army brass was steaming mad w/ him. So, things haven’t changed much. Get that ticket punched & don’t rock the boat.

    • Sgt K says:

      Col. Hackworth’s “About Face” is a must read for those who go nosing around in the dirt, professionally. But even he became tiresome after a while. There was a period there that the army was in fairly good hands. The men who got NTC up and running. The Gulf War, Tne Mog(Thanks, Les Aspin) The whole Balkans affair. But ever since big army got bogged down in Iraq and A-stan, the old CYA and ticket punching began. And then the obama purge of flag officers who showed even a hint of backbone. Maybe not a hollow force currently, but zero power projection.

  9. Roh-Dog says:

    “‘no boss. I’ll give you my resignation’… should be our collective expectation of these people.”

    Absolutely not, Sir. My expectation is these political hacks continue to punt on first-and-goal all the way until They mismanage this thing to obsolescence.

    We no longer are entrusting the guidance of this once-great experiment to winners but to those who do not DARE rock the boat.

    Plan accordingly.

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