GENERAL PETRAUEUS AND GENERAL MC CHRYSTAL COMPAREDVIEWS OF US MILITARY EXPERTS

Sucking up to the American military brass natural-beautypavocavalry.blogspot.com

By William J Astore Few things have characterized the post-9/11 American world more in the United States than our worshipful embrace of our generals. They've become our heroes, our sports stars, and our celebrities all rolled...
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Roland St. Germain • 1. The military is as microcosm of our society and contains all types of people and personalities 9This includes general officers) 2.The military is actually run by civilians. That is our executive branch of government and Congress who controls the purse strings 3. As far as sucking up, just take a serious look at how we treat the Clintons. 4. The rules of Engagement (ROE) are dictated by the executive branch which is staffed by politicians and political suck-ups called staffers. 5. This criticism of military generals paints an incorrect picture with broad brush strokes. 6. It is so easy for "journalists" to demonize the military as they can not under the UCMJ strike back politically.
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Duane Cassida • I worked for Gen McChrystal in Iraq and Gen Petraeus in Afghanistan. Putting them both in the same boat and labeling their failing as hubris is an oversimplified analysis of very complicated men dealing with the impossibilities that constitute the war in Afghanistan. Any man who reaches 4 star rank has as a necessity a high degree of self confidence. Both these men were very confident in their own abilities. In Gen McChrystal's case, he surrounded himself with an extremely loyal, almost worshipful, staff of special operators. They served him well earlier as he led JSOC operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were totally unprepared to handle the political and public relations aspects of commanding ISAF. They were arrogant and cocky; they didn't know what they didn't know about the world outside of the special ops community. In Gen Petraeus' case, he surrounded himself with the press and think tankers who helped him build the myth that what had worked in Iraq would work equally well in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he began to believe his own press and lost sight of who he was. Like many who reach the top, he left his character behind. I saw Gen McChrystal and his wife a few months ago. They are doing well and he is still contributing. I hope after all the uproar dies down, Gen Petraeus will do the same.
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Agha Shershah • a very interesting view of both . a bit non committal where it comes to the crucial issues raised in both the articles that I quoted.
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Agha Shershah • glad that this post drew two brilliant responses.my thanks and gratitude to both the respected gentlemen.
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Agha Shershah • glad that this post drew two brilliant responses.my thanks and gratitude to both the respected gentlemen.

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Duane Cassida • Agha S., I do agree with the premise of the first article that the American military has become increasingly rank topheavy. During my last tour in Afghanistan in 2011 at ISAF HQ, there were more than 60 full colonels assigned. The majority of these colonels were doing work normally handled by Majors and Lt Colonels. We do have far too many general officers as well. The article did not address another issue involving higher ranking officers, that being the broken promotion system in the American military. Those officers who are adept at filling the squares, i.e. getting the right postings at the right time and making not waves are routinely promoted. Any officer who deviates from the "career track" is passed over. We should not be surprised when many senior officers are ineffective leaders lacking imagination and the ability to inspire those they are assigned to command.
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Roland St. Germain • Duane, I have also seen the Air Force officer types who were more concerned about their next staff assignment than in getting the job done. I am a USAF "Mustang" with over 13 years prior service as a Russian then Czech linguist (SIGINT collector). I have seen officers come and go, the good and the bad. I had one Lt. Col tell me he was going to make "full bird" based on the work I was going to do for him. (He didn't last too long and his attitude was what forced him to retire. My last tour of duty as a Captain was at the Pentagon working Intel Support to EC and EW. There were lots of Lt. Cols and Colonels running around trying to make names for themselves. Also there were a number of Majors in the promotion hunt. As a Captain with over 20 years of active duty and too old to be considered for promotion, I concentrated on my job. I had PCS'ing Colonels wanting to take me with them to their next assignment as I was capable of getting the job done efficiently and correctly. I also apparently had a knack of seeing through the BS and getting to the point. Well, to make a long story short, I agree from first hand observation that filling the right squares and not telling the truth to powere will get you promoted. However, when the proverbial S... hits the fan,it is the doers that are called upon by seniors to get the job done. In times of crisis they are highly valued. Then after the crisis the system takes over again and the good ones "fade away."
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-------------COMMENTS ON THE SAME POST FROM ANOTHER GROUP DEFENSE INDUSTRY NETWORK

General Petraeus and General Mc Chrystal Compared by a US Intelligence Professional low-intensity-conflict-review.blogspot.com low-intensity-conflictreview.blogspot.com 6 days ago

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Agha Shershah • Thanks Kevin and Paul
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Steve Jungers • Good to get a view of these men on a personal level, not just the public persona. Steve
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kevin ruffner • Duane Cassida • Agha S., I do agree with the premise of the first article that the American military has become increasingly rank topheavy. During my last tour in Afghanistan in 2011 at ISAF HQ, there were more than 60 full colonels assigned. The majority of these colonels were doing work normally handled by Majors and Lt Colonels. We do have far too many general officers as well. The article did not address another issue involving higher ranking officers, that being the broken promotion system in the American military. Those officers who are adept at filling the squares, i.e. getting the right postings at the right time and making not waves are routinely promoted. Any officer who deviates from the "career track" is passed over. We should not be surprised when many senior officers are ineffective leaders lacking imagination and the ability to inspire those they are assigned to command. 11 hours ago• Unlike• Reply privately• Flag as inappropriate 1 Roland Unfollow Roland St. Germain • Duane, I have also seen the Air Force officer types who were more concerned about their next staff assignment than in getting the job done. I am a USAF "Mustang" with over 13 years prior service as a Russian then Czech linguist (SIGINT collector). I have seen officers come and go, the

good and the bad. I had one Lt. Col tell me he was going to make "full bird" based on the work I was going to do for him. (He didn't last too long and his attitude was what forced him to retire. My last tour of duty as a Captain was at the Pentagon working Intel Support to EC and EW. There were lots of Lt. Cols and Colonels running around trying to make names for themselves. Also there were a number of Majors in the promotion hunt. As a Captain with over 20 years of active duty and too old to be considered for promotion, I concentrated on my job. I had PCS'ing Colonels wanting to take me with them to their next assignment as I was capable of getting the job done efficiently and correctly. I also apparently had a knack of seeing through the BS and getting to the point. Well, to make a long story short, I agree from first hand observation that filling the right squares and not telling the truth to powere will get you promoted. However, when the proverbial S... hits the fan,it is the doers that are called upon by seniors to get the job done. In times of crisis they are highly valued. Then after the crisis the system takes over again and the good ones "fade away."
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Kirk John Larson, MBA, MPM • As that I am a former US Army member and currently a contractor in Afghanistan, I can atest that the US Army is entering a period of severe transition. The nature and structure of the US Army has been so altered by politics and the influence of retirees, that professionally, the US Army is no longer capable of long term occupational or enduring combat operations. Its overall dependence on contractors and its inability to apply man-power stipulates a serious subversion of traditional Army operations. As an outsider, now looking in, I would argue that the trend is a systematic dismantling of the enlisted ranks. However, this trend also appears to be greatly

misunderstood by the officers, or simply the officers commanding the Army is simply unaware of the changes that are happening under foot. Moreover, there also does not appear to be any purpose for this trend of changes. To what end is the enlisted ranks being dismatled? Why is the US Army so dependent on contractors, such to the point that it can no longer perform long term sustainable operations? This trend is so entrenched and deep within the US Army, that both Reserve and NG are showing similar signs. If I were to speculate, I would almost argue that the US Army is being prepared for disbanding? However, crazy that sounds, the current social and economic crisis' happening throughout the US and the world suggests activities behind the scenes by political figures that intentionally seek destabilizing processes to further encourage the current trends.
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-----------Randall Senn • Concerning who get promoted, look at who is doing the choosing. They will likely promote people like themselves. If they got senior rank by filling in the blocks and playing it safe, they will likely value behavior in others.
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Kirk John Larson, MBA, MPM • That is the nature of representative society. The people always elect those who represent the fashion of the times. As the times change relative to the conditions and attitudes, the representation changes.
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Mike Uminski • As a vietnam veteran, I hold these both Generals in the highest esteem, but the leftist media will always tearn down good and honest military man.
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Kirk John Larson, MBA, MPM • The media has no other role now but to destroy everything the US stood for. To acheive its goals, the US military must be removed as a force as it is the only force capable of preserving the constitution despite its failures in the recent past. Once the military realizes the political objective to destory the US from within. Then law enforcement can then proceed with ending our domesitc enemies. But the domestic effort is currently an entitlement process that forces a choice. Either the people can be protected or it can be enjoy their entitlements. That is when the police state begins. The crisis is the key which must be handled properly. That crisis is the US economic failure and the military is the target for defunding and the US then falls into a totalitarian structure with one political party, namely the Democrats. This is the goal of the Democrats, an one party system with all policing powers under democrat party control and since the media is under democrat control, the transition will be a regarded as a natural progression of the political process. Then the disolutionment of Congress and the State

governments which ends all the elections in the country and those in power will remain in power forever. ----------------------------------------------------------

 Group: Wartime Professionals™  Discussion: Has US Armys Military Virtue Deteriorated ? Return to circa 2001 time-frame and the competency of the Powell Doctrine versus that of Generals Petraeus and McChrystal. Isn't it time to admit that the latter two Generals and their use of Special Operations (including drones) have been more onerous? Now that we see the Iraq results we can summarize Petraeus as a failure in comparison to General Eric K. Shinseki's assertions about Iraq’s war. When compared to Bosnia we may be guilty of many War Crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and further compared to a Powell doctrine where we should have sealed the borders in Iraq and deploy our folks in massive numbers to blunt any offensive while using our Special Operations Forces more effectively?
Posted by Herbert Nelson Jr

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http://low-intensity-conflictreview.blogspot.com/2011/04/general-petraeus-holepuncher.html

10 April, 2011

A Hole Puncher Called General Petraeus

CRISIS IN COMMAND-US ARMY Major Agha H Amin (Retired)

'It was observed by two outstanding US military historians and social psychologists Gabriel and Savage the authors of "Crisis in Command" both former Army officers assessed the U.S. Army as an army in deep moral crisis.

We did bring out the ambiguous US role in Afghan war in our book published by Edwin Mellen Press New York.

They found the US Army career officers plagued with civilian "managerial" values and devoid of traditional military virtues .

From what I saw of US Army in Afghanistan as a sub contractor of USAID in Helmand ,Ghazni and Kunduz provinces the assessment of Gabriel and Savage still seems valid.I refer to the mid level and higher commanders.

As one Canadian military analyst Dr Geoff Shaw put it "But any great power so enamored with false-hood can not stand for long ".

Here we have the same hole punching , the same tail heavy and teeth weak , whiz kid army that Gabriel and Savage found Vietnam. The US Army has no strategy to fight the war ! The question is that having no strategy actually a part of a strategy to remain in Afghanistan and to dominate the region on pretext of fighting so called terrorists ! A costly strategy and all at cost of US tax payer ! A strategy tailor made to satisfy the military industrial complex and defence contractors.

Hole punchers dominate the US military ! The US Army has no strategic plan although it sells its military effectiveness with flashy publicity campaigns.

Drug trafficking continues right in the area hemmed with three largest US military bases in Afghanistan i.e Camps Leatherneck ,Dwyer and Bastion (British-US) . Now is is a part of a deliberate strategy or is it sheer complacency ! Or is it capacity building by the US for the major Afghan export to Europe ? Drugs !

The Talibans move with liberty back and forth through most of the 1900 Km of the total 2400 Km Afghan Pakistan Border. All this hints at the fact that US position is ambiguous and it sees Taliban as a good future asset against Iran ,Russia and even China as far as Chinese Singkiang which US thinkers like to call Chinese Turkestan !

The entire US strategy is a classic collection of contradictions ! They are droning some groups in Pakistans FATA but doing little against Afghan Taliban ! The differences between pakistani military and US are not over war on terror but on protecting each others proxies ! It is no secret that the Afghan Taliban are Pakistani strategic assets while some groups in Pakistan fighting the Pakistan Army are US/NATO strategic assets . The only difference between USA

and Pakistan is as to who is the target ! The Pakistani military sees their Taliban assets as proxies against India while the US wants the Taliban to be future US assets against Iran ,Russia,Russian Central Asian sattellite states and above all China ! Nothing in the last ten years hints that the USA came to defeat the Taliban or Al Qaeda. The Al Qaeda has significantly consolidated its bases in North East Afghanistan .But General Petraeus who claims he can run five miles with journalists in the safety of Kabul or Bagram thinks other wise !

Is allowing Al Qaeda to consolidate an innocent strategic lapse or part of Petraeus grand strategy ! And is the Petraeus strategy to defeat Al Qaeda or to become the CIA boss !

This is the classic Gabriel and Savage US Army general flying high in his command plane ! Miles away from danger while Gabriel and Savage sadly compared US Army with German Army where both noted that 33 % general officers died in battle leading from the front ! Here we have this great captain of war who is all set to lead the CIA ! Certainly one is inclined to agree with Weiners book on CIA " The Ashes" . It is certain that US politics as most politics is about self serving

characters who see international events and war as pegs to climb up the winding road to power !

Can Petraeus take a walk with a normal US Army patrol in Pech Valley or Kamdesh for five miles !

Generalship is not running Five Miles General Petraeus

What are his tangible strategic or even operational achievements as US military commander in Afghanistan rather than a zig zag hop step and jump to be the next DCI !

I have immense respect for the US soldier and juniour leaders but not the hole punching generals !

Yet Petraeus claims that all is well ! What could be an inch away from what Gabriel and Savage pointed out in Crisis in Command. The great danger in US strategic ambiguity is that it can trigger a major global conflict at best with China and Russia stepping in with a nuclear exchange or keeping the whole region unstable at best ! Confusion of principle , strategic ambiguity , mixing of friend and foes at the strategic level is a dangerous modus operandi !

A dangerous game which can go out of hand at any time and which even Petraeus whose main qualification seems to be running five miles at 6000 feet may not be able to control at all !

This is not just the military only . A spirited and highly motivated US State Department officer Doug Scherer described his superiors in State Department in May 2006 as "W___t P__u____s___s hiding behinde mails and taking no decisions".He then symbolically decided that we should watch Gettysburg (Doug regarded Lee as his hero ,as most Americans

would) ! God Save mankind and USA and US Army ! The USA needs men like Petraeus certainly !

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Qaeda not on rise in Afghanistan: Petraeus

* US commander says there has been some exploration for potential safe havens in Nuristan, Kunar * Confirms to reporters he is negotiating his next job KABUL: The top commander of US and NATO forces said Saturday that while some al Qaeda fighters have been searching for hideouts in rugged areas of eastern Afghanistan, he does not think they are making a comeback inside the country. “There is no question that al Qaeda has had a presence in Afghanistan and continues to have

a presence,” General David Petraeus told reporters at the coalition‟s headquarters in the Afghan capital. But he added: “There certainly has been some exploration for potential safe havens or sanctuaries in very mountainous areas of Nuristan and parts of Kunar provinces. Our intention, with our Afghan partners, is to maintain pressure on those who are seeking to establish safe havens.” Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that during the past six to eight months, al Qaeda fighters had been setting up training camps, hideouts and

bases along Afghanistan‟s northeastern border with Pakistan. The newspaper cited US, Afghan and Taliban officials and quoted an unnamed senior US military officer as saying „al Qaeda is coming back.‟ Speaking with reporters after a farewell ceremony for NATO‟s top civilian representative, Mark Sedwill, Petraeus said the recent deaths of seven UN workers in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan would not affect plans for Afghan security forces to start taking the lead for security in the provincial capital this summer.

Petraeus also confirmed that he‟s in discussions that will determine his next job, but doesn‟t know what it will be. “I honestly don‟t know,” he said. “I‟ve obviously watched the trial balloons floated this past week — if that‟s what they are.” Reporters asked him directly if he wanted to become CIA director — one of several positions being rumored in Washington. Petraeus dodged the question, saying he didn‟t think it was appropriate to comment on jobs he might be asked to take. He said, however, that

suggestions that he is physically worn out were wrong. Petraeus then challenged reporters to join him for a run in Kabul, which is situated at about 6,000 feet above sea level. “I am certainly not tired,” he said. “If any of you would like evidence or proof of that, I welcome you tomorrow morning with your running shoes on and we‟ll see how you do over a five-mile course at 6,000 feet.” He said he has committed himself to lead the war through the current fighting season. There is fighting year-round in Afghanistan, but insurgent activity typically slows when the weather gets cold.

In his farewell speech to NATO and Afghan dignitaries, Sedwill said that when he arrived in Afghanistan more than two years ago, insurgents had the momentum. “We couldn‟t keep up,” he said. “The Afghan people and people across the (NATO) alliance were weary and looking for a political shortcut to the exit.” He said that since then, the coalition had regained the initiative but warned that the fight was not over. “The road to peace, like all roads

here, will be long and hard,” he said. “There will be obstacles along the way. We will have to fight hard and we will face hard choices. There will be missteps and setbacks.” As the weather has warmed, there has been an increase in violence. Anti-American sentiment has also risen over the burning of a holy Quran last month at a Florida church. At least 21 people have been killed in the protests that started April 1 when a mob of angry Afghans attacked a UN compound in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Three UN staff members and four Nepalese guards were killed in the attack. ap
Posted by Omnibus Dubitandum at 4:04 AM

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