Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, urges President Trump to purge the general officers corps for reasons including:
–They and their predecessors have not won a war since 1945. In truth, they have won nothing in the most war-filled 72 years in American history.
–They have regularly betrayed the military men and women entrusted to their care by American parents by taking those troops to fight in wars that neither they nor their political masters intended to win. I do not know of a single case, since 1945, when a general officer resigned and told the citizenry that he did so because he refused to lead their soldier-children into a war no one meant to win, and in which the rules-of-engagement made those soldier-children targets rather than killers.
–They hold their positions for venal self-interest. To understand why no general has resigned and told the foregoing truth to the public, just survey the membership of America’s corporate boards of directors. Those boards are loaded with former generals who are making more mounds of money to add to their already luxurious pensions. The formula-for-success for U.S. general officers obviously is: keep silent, get use to losing, get your troops killed for nothing, and you will be generously rewarded when you retire.
–They are incompetent and, apparently, shoddily educated men and women. One example should suffice. They have been waging war, at various levels of intensity, against Islamists since Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war in 1996, and they have lost on every field of battle on which they have engaged the Islamists. Mr. President, did you know that our Islamist enemies are not professionally trained soldiers; that they are armed almost entirely with small arms, some of Korean War vintage; that they have no air cover or naval support; and that their funding, supply lines, and safe havens are always at risk? Did you know that this is the kind of paramilitary force that has consistently humiliated the United States and its military for two decades, one that has forced your canting generals to obliquely admit to being losers and fantasists with the words like “There is no military solution to this conflict” and “The Islamists have nothing to do with Islam”.
–They are thoroughgoing liars. Again, one example will suffice. Since at least 2003-2004, every Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and every U.S. general officer commanding in Afghanistan, has told the American people that: (1) the remnants of the Taleban, al-Qaeda, and other Islamist groups were being eliminated; (2) that our democracy- and nation-building efforts were bearing durable results; and (3) that the Afghan military was on the verge of being able to defend its country with minimal foreign assistance. Each statement was a transparent lie every time it was spoken, and the general officers who spoke them knew they were lies. Today, the truth is that al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Taleban are thriving in Afghanistan, while the Afghan government and its military are collapsing. No number of additional lies will save either. Are these dishonest men and women the ones you are going to trust to restore America’s greatness? They are much more likely to again cover the republic in infamy.
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Originally posted April 13, 2017.