Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Soldier Rebuts His Tyrant Bosses

This article, by Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, has been getting a lot of attention lately—particularly from lefty sites such as Truthout and Think Progress. It richly deserves all the attention it can get: it is a crisply written, orderly, and eminently sane exposure, from an officer who has served in Iraq, of all the managerial incompetence that has defined this war's corporate conduct.

My blogging partner Terry McKenna reminded me of something that helped to put Lt. Col. Yingling's message into context: before the war started, the Army held war games, which were meant to test the military's prevailing combat strategy against an enemy that lacked our resources and firepower. The commander of the "insurgency" in these tactical war games quit before they could conclude, because, once his forces started "winning," the Army told him to stop and play by its rules (Marquis of Queensbury, anyone?). Here's an excerpt; the whole expose—from August, 2002, mind you—is here:

The most elaborate war game the U.S. military has ever held was rigged so that it appeared to validate the modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts it was supposed to be testing, according to the retired Marine lieutenant general who commanded the game’s Opposing Force.
That general, Paul Van Riper, said he worries the United States will send troops into combat using doctrine and weapons systems based on false conclusions from the recently concluded Millennium Challenge 02. He was so frustrated with the rigged exercise that he said he quit midway through the game.

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