Gen. George Casey, who presided over the downward spiral between 2004 to 2006, was rewarded by being made Army chief of staff. By contrast, Gen. George Marshall, in his first year as Army chief of staff under FDR in the run-up to World War II, fired 34 generals and 445 colonels from an Army half the size of today's force. After war came in December 1941, he further relieved 17 division commanders. So why no comparable purge during the Iraq War, which has already lasted longer than World War II? More was at stake during 1941 to 1945, of course, but it is also true that the commanders in Iraq were following the policy decreed by Bush and Rumsfeld. The failure of imagination started at the top. True, more officers should have challenged their civilian bosses, but that is rarely the way in a U.S. military obedient to civilian control.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The key passage is on page 39: