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Posts Tagged ‘The Fourth Star’

Well, the start of another year!
I went to see the movie “Avatar” over the X-mas weekend.  It was a very entertaining action movie, but it was NOT earth (or life) changing.  I’m sure it’ll make loads of money, but I doubt it will end up being the mega-hit that Titanic was.
I just finished the book: “The Fourth Star” (2009©) written by Greg Jaffe and David Cloud over the X-mas weekend.  It’s about the lives and careers of four of the generals who’ve led the Army in the last decade.  The book tells how they came up through the ranks and some of the experiences which prepared them for the challenges they faced in the middle-east.  The book never glorifies war, but I found it to be incredibly self-serving.  It is an obvious attempt to get their side of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts out into public domain before the political hacks from the Bush Administration can get their stories out.
I don’t doubt that all four men are genuine patriots – as they define the term – I’m just not sure I define it the same way.  Their primary goal seems to be to make the Army the best that it can be and to protect it, as much as possible from both the politicians (who would misuse it) and from itself.  The confusion I have is I feel their primary duty is to protect the Constitution – from all enemies “foreign and domestic” – and not just to protect the country by protecting the Army.  I don’t know what these generals could have done to prevent the Iraq war or to prevent the mismanagement in Afghanistan, but I find it unbelievable to imagine they could not see the folly in both.
Further, I think their efforts to promote the Patreus surge in Afghanistan will harm the US military for decades and may cripple the Obama Administration.  The classic warning to all generals is that they always prepare their army to fight the last war.  The coincidence that a surge has temporarily worked in Iraq for a year, has now led them to convince President Obama that a similar strategy will work in Afghanistan.
I do not feel it will – further, I believe history will show the surge had a marginally short benefit in Iraq.
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