Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He's Talking About What???

SWJ put out an announcement for a conference titled Counterinsurgency Leadership in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Beyond scheduled for late September at the National Press Club. There will be a lot of good speakers there, even if it appears that half of them are just walking up from Penn and 13th.

As we're picking on Tom Ricks lately and to add evidence to Gulliver's post, why on earth is Ricks on the panel for "Officer Development in the U.S. Military"??? What expertise or experience does he have to offer on this topic? None as far as I can tell. Unless you consider the blog posts he had at Best Defense expertise or experience - which mainly consisted of picking out letters from people who agreed with him and insulting those that didn't (At this point I should caveat that I went to one of these schools he derides so much). It is just more sensationalism for its own sake instead of having a useful discussion about how to improve the service academies, as I'm pretty sure they're not going to go away just because Tom Ricks wants them to. Community college education indeed.

So go see the panel if you want to. I'm going to go ahead and put money on the fact that there will be a lot of blustering about closing West Point and the War Colleges. And then hopefully Mssrs. Fick and Kaplan will actually add to the conversation on how we improve the institutional education for our officer corps.

24 comments:

  1. West Point grads are socially inept,
    Drunken louts, usually unkempt,
    Jerks, uncreative martinets, they say,
    Dropping on their troopers a big bag o' gay
    A reality Tom wants you to accept.

    SNLII

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  2. A West Point grad,
    That's why you're mad,
    Your community college on the Hudson
    You a monk, every chick a nun,
    Strapping on each promotion knee pad.

    SNLII

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  3. Gunslinger, during my career I knew
    Outstanding West Pointers, and not a few,
    But I also served under dim asshats
    Brainless bastards carrying gats,
    Getting men killed during their wartime debut.

    SNLII

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  4. The real education comes in the platoon,
    Where NCOs confront the USMA goon,
    And turn him into a true leader
    So he can marry and become a breeder,
    And leave us to war and the saloon.

    SNLII

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  5. Not really sure what Kaplan's gonna have to say about that, either.

    Ricks did some decent work about a dozen years ago on politicization in the officer corps, so maybe he'll flash back to that.

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  6. As did I. That's not my point. My point is that Ricks seems to have brought up the whole subject for the tintilating attention it drove to him. You and I both know that West Point will not be shuttered any day soon. So why bother with the discussion. How about something more like: "West Point's all screwed up for these reasons... here's how we go about fixing it." That's a discussion on Officer Development in the U.S. Military.

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  7. Kaplan actually did work with and for the service academy and war colleges and probably actually knows *something* about them.

    The politicization stuff is all kind of moot by now anyway and has nothing to do with development in the grand scheme of the notion.

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  8. But isn't that true of any zero?
    No commission mints him a hero.
    ROTC, OCS or West Point
    Can't take anyone and anoint
    Him a natural born caballero.

    SNLII

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  9. On a staff ride I heard the same words,
    From majors and colonels, full birds!
    They said Tom's prose was sensational
    But about USMA hardly representational,
    And most weren't from West Point's herds.

    SNLII

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  10. But on this you and I might agree,
    With officers there's far more to see,
    Than USMA and the plebes from there,
    The cadets that they seek to prepare,
    Or really from any other Academy.

    SNLII

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  11. Bob Batemen -- direct commission,
    A mustang from Stanford was a good mission
    For both Gian Gentile and Con Crane,
    That's what I'm sayin:
    More than one way to make a zero, if you listen.

    SNLII

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  12. Now, Gunslinger, did you read
    O'Hanlon's Orbis screed?
    I sent it by the email,
    An assignment you couldn't fail
    To notice is on point, indeed.

    SNLII

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  13. I see what you mean, dude. It would be hard carrying on a conversation with some madman who only spoke in verse.

    SNLII

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  14. I did read it. Is he serious about the Peacekeeping Units? It sounds like Dr. K from CSBA gone unhinged. Oh, and someone please tell him we do hire foreigners. I had a bunch of my soldiers naturalized in country.

    I do wonder if the West Point numbers he gave considered those of us who stayed past 5 years but not by our own choice?

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  15. Gunslinger, CNAS is a piece of work,
    This conference just another circle jerk
    Of Beltway pundits who like to hear
    What's already been whispered ear to ear,
    Both by the aging Mandarin and the Young Turk.

    SNLII

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  16. COINdinistas aren't the focus
    Of all this CNAS hocus-pocus.
    Why hold it at the Press Club?
    Ain't because they needed a pub
    Free of COINtra cockroaches.

    SNLII

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  17. They're holding the meeting there
    To tell journos the emperor ain't bare,
    But fully dressed for Afghanistan,
    ACUs, bad haircuts and a worse oplan
    And maybe the reporters will care.

    SNLII

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  18. But it really could get worse,
    Quoting O'Hanlon at his most perverse:
    "We need for Darfur at least two divisions
    "Of COIN hippies and their provisions,
    "Then they can do Congo -- Iraq in reverse!"

    SNLII

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  19. Sometimes I think similar essays,
    Aren't like insurgents' caches.
    The authors want Obama's peeps to find them,
    Like their a resume, an earnestly sung hymn,
    Putting future policies on display.

    SNLII

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  20. So say what you will about Speechboy,
    It took some balls to Annoy
    CNAS, Gates, Petraeus and Ricks,
    Calling them on their OEF tricks,
    A Greek horse before our gates, our Troy.

    SNLII

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  21. Now, CNAS would tell you it's the "zeitgeist,"
    But I say it's a swindle, a crooked heist
    That cheats from us a chance to dissent
    The blood that's spilled, the cash mispent,
    Because who made war our new Christ?

    SNLII

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  22. SNLII, you've had your days,
    Why don't you understand the craze?
    It's important for the Colonel Blimps
    To sit on a panel with their trained chimps,
    Everyone competing for center stage.

    SNLII

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  23. For swag they'll offer the journos totes,
    Free CNAS pens, manufactured quotes,
    And the reporters will eat it all up,
    The fake news and the free fruit cup,
    And none will say, "No blood for goats."

    SNLII

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  24. This conference is certainly devoid of alternative view points. I guess leadership in these theaters will consist only of those that "get it" and we'll just try to make more of them.

    ReplyDelete