Interesting Article on the Quality of US Generals

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Alamo, Oct 30, 2012.

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  1. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    I'm just starting reading a book about the British (Indian Army) Mesopotamian campaign 1914-19. The level of balls-up caused by bad generalship (and confused political leadership) makes sad reading, including initial failure to turn the local Arabs into the enemies of their Turkish masters. The consequences of the eventual post-WW1 settlement, some of it apparently arrived at by accident, are with us today.

    One could also look at the way slim turned the Burma campaign around and what was in play when he arrived that he had to sort out. Brigadier Simpson's book on the Singapore campaign is also illuminating.

    Oh and also the performance of the French generals 1939-40.
  2. Quite an eye opening article, a bit Ledwidge-esque but punching higher.

    I thought normally where the US led, we followed?
  3. Shame we didn.t get rid of Monty after Normandy given what I have read.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I'm intrigued. What's the title?
  5. You think we haven't?
  6. Should have been clearer - Ledwidge's navel gazing came out last year. This is the first main stream US focused bit that has surfaced here.

    Obviously we beat our cousins across the water to saying we're shit first - post-imperial hubris ? who knows?
  7. Tom Ricks' previous books haven't really pulled their punches on the level of leadership shown by the Generals, this is just a more thorough look at the 'problem'.
  8. Lots of food for thought.

    I was particularly drawn to this piece...

    Putting the obvious and hackneyed lion and donkey analogies aside, this point resonates more than a little with a sentiment that is becoming better understood the further we go down our own austerity path. Some years ago, at an inf CO's conference I believe, the audience was indulging itself in a round of collective dripping about the latest cutbacks when one officer (still serving, so I won't name him) stood up, threw his notebook to the floor and bellowed "...and they'll keep on cutting because no matter what they do, they know that you f*ckers will keep making it work!"
  9. 'An assesment system that tended to reward abusive leadership'. Oooh, that's not good at all. No wonder potentially very able Generals are racking their careers in early.
  10. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Mespot book is 'When God Made Hell' by Charles Townshend (no kin of the general who got his force shut up in Kut), Faber 2010, ppbk 2011. 525 pp plus notes & index etc. I took it out of my local library to read up some background on how my grandfather, in the relief force, ended up being shot in the thigh and having a bayonet through his hand the day before Kut surrendered. Recommended for anyone with an interest in Iraq too!
  11. Change management (the real thing, not the Management Consultant version). It's key; commercially successful organisations have made sure that everyone up to/down from the CEO understand that everything is fluid, and that learning new skills and arts is a constant feature of all training. "Get with the Program", as that little **********, who fired me many years ago for failing to do so, said.
  12. Cheers, seaweed. One for the wishlist.