Plenty of generals and few soldiers

We learned today in a recent report at the Daily Beast that our U.S. armed forces, “is notably short on soldiers, but apparently not on generals.”

The report explains that “There are at least 12 U.S. generals in Iraq, a stunningly high number for a war that, if you believe the White House talking points, doesn’t involve American troops in combat. And that number is, if anything, a conservative estimate, not taking into account the flag officers running the U.S. air war, the admirals helping wage the war from the sea, or their superiors back at the Pentagon.  At U.S. headquarters inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, even majors and colonels frequently find themselves saluting superiors at a pace that outranks the Pentagon and certainly any normal military installation. With about 5,000 troops deployed to Iraq and Syria ISIS war, that means there’s a general for every 416 troops, give or take. To compare, there are some captains in the U.S. Army in charge of that many people.”

This is a natural consequences of a bloated DOD bureaucracy. I have already discussed here how to trim that.

I remember personally watching Colonels, who wanted to be get promoted to General, flying into the warzone…marching around on base for a couple days; maybe had to run to a bunker once and then return home for their “medal.”  They had checked the box for their combat experience.  And voilà…promoted.

Lt. Col (Ret.) Allen West adds that “There was once upon a time when the battlefield was populated with more troops than leaders. Also, those leaders led from the front and were engaged with their men. Our history is replete with such stories. Recall the number of battlefield commanders lost during the Civil War, or how on D-Day the Assistant Commander of the 4th(US) Infantry Division, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., landed on Utah Beach and infamously stated, “we start the war from here”. He was later killed. Today we have deployed countless amounts of senior leaders but less actual troops in combat. Perhaps there are those who would say that is a part of technology. Instead we have legions who are “gaining combat experience” in order to punch that ticket for promotion – and getting additional combat zone pay, but are they truly contributing to the effort of victory? And those of us who have been in these combat zones know exactly of that for which I speak.”

Marine General John Paxton recently told Congress that the Marine Corp “may not be ready for war.”  But this latest revelation suggests the military as a whole may not be ready.

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