Monday, April 24, 2006

The Generals and the Secretary of War, Again

Eliot Cohen recommends a litte discretion:

Even making these assumptions and conceding the narrowly defined nonpartisanship of these denunciations, for recently retired general officers to publicly denounce a sitting secretary of defense is wrong, destructive of good order and discipline in the armed forces, and prejudicial to functional civil-military relations. It is not the same thing as speaking candidly before Congress, telling all to civilian or military scholars collecting oral histories, or indeed writing one's own memoirs after the heat of contemporary passions has cooled, and the individuals in question have left public office. Rather, this kind of denunciation means leaping into a political fight, and tackling the civilians still charged with the nation's defense. Not the charges themselves, but the arrogation of responsibility is the problem: When things go wrong at the top the civilians should, no doubt, take the heat. But not this way.
Read it all.

No comments: