Friday, April 27, 2007

Failure In The Military's Upper Eschelons

Cernig hooks us up today with this must-read essay from Lt. Col. Paul Yingling.

Here's a taste:

After going into Iraq with too few troops and no coherent plan for postwar stabilization, America's general officer corps did not accurately portray the intensity of the insurgency to the American public. The Iraq Study Group concluded that "there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq." The ISG noted that "on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals." Population security is the most important measure of effectiveness in counterinsurgency. For more than three years, America's generals continued to insist that the U.S. was making progress in Iraq. However, for Iraqi civilians, each year from 2003 onward was more deadly than the one preceding it. For reasons that are not yet clear, America's general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq's government and security forces and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq. Moreover, America's generals have not explained clearly the larger strategic risks of committing so large a portion of the nation's deployable land power to a single theater of operations.

I disagree with Yinling on one point. I think the reasons for the Generals' actions are clear. You don't advance during the Bush years by providing sober and honest assessments but by supporting Bush spin and having the brownest nose.


  • Proper prior planing prevents the possibility of poor pentagon performance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:30 PM  

  • Having to suck up to one's superior is no excuse. The generals' job is to give timely and dispassionate advice

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:11 AM  

  • "America's general officer corps did not accurately portray the intensity of the insurgency to the American public."

    An interesting perspective. This guy apparently thinks that the "general officer corps" should report to, and take direction from, "the people" rather than the President. Good thing he never got high enough to join that corps.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:42 PM  

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