Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The unpalatable truth, but the truth nonetheless.

The Truth About the Wars
When my son Matt transferred out of the 101st Airborne Division that he loved, headed for another assignment in Germany he didn't want, I had a chance to talk with a number of officers and senior NCOs at Fort Campbell who served with him in Iraq during the invasion and later in Mosul. Among them was Dan Bolger, then a one-star. I was honored that we got a chance to chat at length about his books and the Battle of Little Big Horn and the dynamics of the command relationships between Custer and Fred Benteen, in which we shared an interest.
Bolger is a rare general officer, a soldier-scholar, and (I thought at the time) painfully, analytically devoted to the truth, whatever that truth may be, however messy or inconvenient.


Anonymous said...

It's commendable that LGEN Bolger is telling part of the truth here. I'll have to read his book to see if he tells "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Normally I wouldn't bother to read any flag or general officer's book, because most of them wouldn't know the truth if it hit them upside the head.


rexxhead said...

Whatever "solution" we ultimately decide upon, if it hopes for long-term success it absolutely positively cannot involve arming any Middle Eastern faction, friend or foe. Whenever we have shipped our military assets there, they have always been -- eventually -- turned against us.

In fact, like "War Games", in this situation, the winning move may indeed be "don't play".

Anonymous said...

Apparently it wasn't Mark Twain, but someone did say "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme". Essentially because even with all our hi-tech gizmos we're not that far removed in our motivations and behaviors from our ancestors.

How many generals did Lincoln have to weed through before he could find one who could fight? And then, rather predictably, the result was one who was pretty much detested by the peacetime brass polishers he replaced.

Try to imagine how Gens. Wesley Clark and William Westmoreland would get along with Gens. Ulysses Grant and William Sherman.

History will decide whether or not Bolger was much of a fighter, but at least he seems to have his head on straight.