"His duty position and responsibilities did not offer him the situational awareness needed to validate his postings to the media"
translation: he don't know what he talkin' 'bout sucka! He jus' jive talkin'!
A US Army colonel who published a splendid attack on top-heavy bureaucracy and PowerPoint culture at NATO's top headquarters in Afghanistan has been sacked. Colonel Lawrence Sellin, in his critique of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC), suggested that the IJC exists primarily "to provide some …
This story sounds precisely like the one that underlies Parkinson's Law.
As I recall (sorry, I can't find a link), sometinme during WWII, Major Parkinson found himself in charge over a weekend when by chance all of the more senior officers were unavailable. He was unable to deal with the mountain of bureaucratic tasks that faced him. So they didn't get done. However, the sky did not fall in. He later wrote a quasi-academic paper about this.
"Sellin tells Wired that an unidentified two-star general, angered by the article, told him he was "a coward, unpatriotic, ignorant [and] petty"."
Unpatriotic?! I can imagine the two-star now. His official position has been attacked and he's a high ranking American soldier who requires a staff of other middle-to-high ranking American soldiers working under him, so he's creating American jobs who will then all pay American taxes, therefore that obviously means the Col doing the attacking is terrorist supporting commie who hates America.
Actually, a lot of them are hoping and praying for these cushy overseas jobs just outside (but still "supporting") combat areas.
Hazardous Duty Pay, Basic Allowance for Quarters, Basic Allowance for Sustenance (if you can scam your pay clerk into filing for hardship), and a slew of other bonuses and benefits that are rightfully paid to most soldiers due to the conditions and to allow their families back home to keep the house paid up are prime pickings for opportunistic officers (commissioned and non) who can swindle, cajole, intimidate a personnel clerk or are just part of the "boy's club" of the unit.
Without these positions, Word & Slide Show Warriors would have to do real jobs for normal pay back CONUS.
... and admitting there _is_ a problem.
One could argue that admitting that lots-of-stars brass does little but sit around and bore each other with powerpoint just to see who breaks down in tears first is a state secret and of the highest strategical importance. However, I'd argue you have bigger problems on your hands if that's the case. And that they do. Being this petty is sign of a thoroughly unfit-for-war military staff machine. And to think Peter Drucker spoke so highly of their personnel placement procedures. Well, perhaps they do have that, just too much deadwood to place really well, and apparently no way to get rid of them, for -you want- public opinion by voice of the media demands competent people in the front line. And if the brass is going to be cynical about not being able to win the war anyway, why not game the seniority game as thoroughly as possible?
""His duty position and responsibilities did not offer him the situational awareness needed to validate his postings to the media," an IJC spokesman told Wired."
I believe that translates as "He didn't know what he was talking about."
But the fact that IJC spokesman chose to say it the way he did supports Col Sellin's case.
"a coward, unpatriotic, ignorant, petty"
Coward: Someone who tells the truth because it's important, knowing he'll get fired for it.
Unpatriotic: Putting the good of his country above the good of the parasites he works for.
Ignorant: Knows where the bodies are buried.
Petty: Does not go round firing people for annoying him then sneering cheap insults at them.
I guess his wish came true; out of a time wasting job and into a useful one.
NATO is so dumb, digging up some arcane rule whilst millions, nay billions of dollars, euros or pounds are wasted. There should be a fixed ratio of foot-soldiers to a general established to stop all this bull.
They've now demonstrated they don't want anyone brave enough to step up to the plate.
If Colonel Sellin wanted out of the Army and back into civvie-land, he couldn't have chosen a better way. I think we'll start seeing others who want out realising that a bit of frank and honest speakign will be followed by a polite showing of the door.
...is to also fire another thousand-odd colonels and a couple of hundred generals to get some semblance of sanity back.
I always liked the Mobile Infantry concept from Robert Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers', ie everyone fights, including maintenance men, chaplains, mess cooks etc, all of whom are soldiers first and whatever else as a supplementary duty. In an armed force, the ratio of combat troops to total complement should be as close to 1:1 as possible, in reality posts seem to be created out of thin air just to give (high-paying?) jobs to soldiers for whom there is no need .
It appears to me that he knew it would piss off some pointless chair warming tosser(s) and get him sent home, that strikes me as perfect situational awareness...
Anyway, well done that man, more money and equipment for the folks actually fighting, fewer helicopter rides and expensive bases for the command ballast. How is it that when we shrink a military we can only get rid of useful troops not the overdressed ornaments?
He realised they were on a hiding to nothing - somewhat belatedly - and got out before the whole lot fell down around his ears... good for him.
If even the rank and file are getting the hell out of it and telling it like it is do you think theres a chance of the PHB's listening now?
No, I thought not, I thought not....
You can half imagine it...
Obama: "You know me Blackie, Not a man to change my mind..."
Blackadder, Jr III "No Sir, we'd noticed that..."
*icon because it probably bears a strong resemblance to 'nameless-2 star-general'
I think the col. new the situation very well! <Let's see, I have a 2 * a$$ hole at my back door and I'm pinned in a corner without my vaseline>
I admire a man who has the courage and fortitude to stand up and speak his mind against daunting odds. My respect for this particular col.
Sellin tells Wired that an unidentified two-star general, angered by the article, told him he was "a coward, unpatriotic, ignorant [and] petty".
I didn't realise NATO was a country. Must be on the newer maps on this non-ignorant person has access to (I’m guessing a normal map and a big rubber NATO stamp).
Who makes those Top Secret stamps anyways or is it a secret? I dare not Google for using the terms Top-secret in case I end up in seeing results from some unsecured Government database or Obama’s Chief of Staff’s face book group and find myself on being deported for hacking.
It brings comfort to know these well informed individuals are responsible for the lives of many soldiers and Afghan civilians.
is no one seems to notice officers used to LEAD troops into battle. Since when did we become a country - and a military - where the leaders hide and send their command out to fight on their own?
I don't agree with the wars we're in, and don't want to leave the impression I do. But, damn it, if the U.S. is requiring soldiers to go out there and risk their lives for their country, then every f***ing Sergeant, Colonel, Captain, Corporal, Chief, Lieutenant, Major, Officer, General and any other rank ought to be out there with them. Tell them to take a tent and a folding table, like the officers in the Civil War. Give them satellite phones, laptops with blade modems, webcams. If officers in the 18th and 19th Centuries could run a war from the field, with all our technology, so can we.
There is no excuse for military officers hiding in offices acting like the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, are some for-profit corporation. War is where people die...the innocent and the guilty, the military and the civilian.
If our political and military leaders agree a war is necessary, then military leaders should be right there with the troops, and in FRONT of them, not cowering behind.
Every single one of those SOB's should be ashamed of themselves, not only for firing an officer for speaking the truth, but for having so little integrity they care more about self-aggrandizement than the men and women under their command.
Yes, I oppose the wars we've entered into. Yes, I believe they were based on lies, that no country has any business ever starting a war, disobeying international law, acting as if even the U.S may do as it pleases with no regard for other countries.
I believe we are better than that.
But never, never will I say one word against the troops in the Middle East, Afghanistan, or anywhere else. They have the right to their beliefs, their honor, and their courage. Whether my opinion is the same as theirs is irrelevant. They back their beliefs with their lives.
For that same reason, i have nothing but contempt for any officer, regardless of rank, who is too cowardly to risk his or her own life for what they allegedly believe. What you believe, you do. How can you do otherwise?
What ever happened to true leaders?
Sick at all the deaths and grief, for once with no "cheers,"
how else do we find ourselves occupying 2 countries at the same time without declaring war yet they are both referred to as wars.
perhaps I missed the memos where they were declared.
this Colonel was exactly right that we have armchair generals running our military and that's why we now have military economy's rather than military victory's.
We can't afford to win or (get out) because what are all these soldiers going to do once they come home? Alot of them are being refused their jobs at walmart they held previously so if theres no work at home I guess guarding poppy and lithium is better than collecting welfare and foodstamps.
Im not sure what goes through the minds of todays young kids that enlist in the military. You aren't enlisting in your grandfathers military that's for damn sure.
Your grandparents enlisted to serve this country and to defend it from the whitehouse that we have today. A slice of todays youth that enlist go in for free education and hope to not have to do anything.
Your grandfathers would say what the hell are we are doing all these years in these countries and how the hell did we end up with a president whose previous occupation was a street agitator.
"IJC exists primarily to provide some general a three-star command"
In other news, sky is blue, water is wet and the recession is not over and no-one cares about dead people in faraway lands.
Paris wonders where that Agfanisthan can be found on the map.