Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Milley's China scandal indicative of civilian oversight of the military becoming 'abuse': Col. Macgregor

The military has become somewhat politicized from the top over the years, colonel claims.

By Charles Creitz | Fox News
Published September 20

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley's allegedly rogue phone call with his People's Liberation Army counterpart is not surprising given the continued politicization of the military by the civilians charged to oversee it, according to retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor.

Macgregor told Fox Nation's "Tucker Carlson Today" that while civilian control of the United States military is sound policy and tradition, over time those civilians in charge of the military have increasingly sought out commanders and officers whose politics align with their own.

Host Tucker Carlson alleged Milley's phone call with Gen. Li Zuocheng is "clearly a crime" but more so "suggests a total lack of civilian leadership of the military in a culture that most of us didn't understand exists."

Macgregor replied that he wasn't surprised by the revelation – made by Washington Post journalists Robert Costa and Robert Woodward in their new book. 

"Unfortunately, civilian oversight and civilian control of the military has become over time abuse of the military. What civilian leadership has tried to do over many decades is essentially put officers into senior positions who are politically attractive to them. People that shared their views, whatever they were, and that has now come back to haunt us in a dramatic way," he said.

Hearkening back to a time before the joint chiefs chairman position even existed, Macgregor pointed to President Franklin Roosevelt's ultimate choice of Gen. George Marshall – notably remembered for his ‘Marshall Plan’ – and how the aggressively partisan Democrat lamented the fact many of the military's top-tier officers were Republicans — or at least opposed his left-wing New Deal-ism.

Macgregor explained that Marshall singled himself out as an officer whose politics would be irrelevant to his role and duty if chosen to chair the president's council as the U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

"So Roosevelt went from not trusting and liking Marshall to not sleeping well with Marshall out of the city. He epitomized a professionalism in the sense, being fundamentally apolitical. And you never saw Marshall used by FDR as a political prop."

From there, such situations became rarer and rarer, the colonel claimed, pointing to President Kennedy choosing Gen. Maxwell Taylor to be joint chiefs chairman – from which Taylor went on to become ambassador to Vietnam as "the disaster unfold[ed]"-- in the colonel's terms.

I think what we've had over the last 20 [to 30 years], a similar phenomenon, where after Desert Storm-- I remember Desert Storm as one of these things that people didn't appreciate how dramatically warfare had changed – they also didn't appreciate the quality of the force that had emerged, and so they were surprised that this whole thing went so well."

"And the generals were quick to rush forward and take credit for something that they didn't have much to do with, but that's what they did."

Macgregor, who also earlier in the episode explained how his Quaker upbringing in Philadelphia's Germantown led to his decision to join the Army, added that essentially from Bosnia onward, service members who wanted to advance as officers and officers as commanders have to politically align themselves with the administration in power to realize their goals.

"In other words, this interventionism became something you had to attach yourself to it. You had to co-emote with the leadership. All right, well, we got to get those bad Serbs. We've got to get these bad people in Somalia," he said.

"And again, that made me very unpopular, because I advocated the elimination of these large ponderous World War II divisions of 15,000 to 20,000 men that you can't maneuver easily and are designed for a form of warfare that has long since vanished. Unfortunately, the army since then has not only refused to change, it's going backwards. It's becoming more like the 1942 force."

"So if you look at the way the army is structured to fight on Poland's border with Russia or White Russia or Ukraine, you're looking at something that is indistinguishable from the front that we had in the Ardennes in 1944," Macgregor concluded.

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

The American Conservative

From Marshall To Milley

Four star generals and the process of their promotion, then and now, are worlds apart.

By Phil Pasquini/Shutterstock)

SEPTEMBER 22, 2021|12:01 AM

On September 1, 1939, Brigadier George C. Marshall took the oath of office as the 15th U.S. Army chief of staff, a post he held until November 1945. When the ceremony ended, General Marshall confided to his aide de camp, “There is enough dead wood in the Army’s officer corps to light several forest fires.”

Marshall was more right than he knew. If the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps fought shoulder to shoulder with the French Army in 1940, American arms would have suffered the same fate as the French and British Armies—total defeat at the hands of the German Wehrmacht. This fact was made painfully obvious 14 months after the Second World War broke out.

In February 1943, 11,000 German troops smashed through the 30,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army’s II Corps at Kasserine Pass. The U.S. commander, Major Gen. Lloyd Fredendall, a swaggering blowhard, was relieved and sent home. It was not the last time that a cigar-chewing imitation of a real general would fail in action against the German onslaught, but the experience strengthened Marshall’s intolerance of general officer failure in action.

Dwight D. Eisenhower thought Marshall had picked Fredendall—an officer with no combat experience despite serving in the First World War—but Fredendall was actually chosen for command by Lieutenant Gen. Lesley McNair for the energy he demonstrated in training. Though Fredendall had not gone ashore to join his troops until the fighting was over, Eisenhower decorated Fredendall for the II Corps’ successful landing in North Africa. Sadly, once Fredendall was selected for the wrong reasons, only disaster in combat with a capable opponent could reveal Fredendall’s deficiencies as a battlefield commander.

Unfortunately, the practice of tolerating mediocre officers with friends and sponsors in the four star ranks persists today.

Today, the task of finding senior military leaders with character, competence and intelligence is immeasurably harder than it was in Marshall’s day. Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the American media’s adulation for four stars transformed general officers such as Petraeus, McChrystal, Mattis, Allen, and Austin into instant celebrities.

Four stars now automatically become part of a mutual general officer admiration society, that cheers even mediocre performance in general officers chosen for high command, because, like “made men” in the Mafia, senior leaders agree not to turn on their peers. Eliminating failed general officers, even when failure is found out the hard way in action, is deemed dangerous to a promotion system based on nepotism that presents itself as infallible.

Political leaders are of no help. Almost no one in the Senate asked relevant questions of nominees for four stars after 9/11—questions like: Is this mission really achievable? Will the proposed operations have a decisive impact and accomplish the mission? What do Americans gain if this the proposed operation actually works? And what do the American People lose if the mission fails? Should Americans really expect the Army and Marine Corps to impose a Western system of government on Iraq or Afghanistan? Are cultures really congruent?

Consequently for aspiring four stars, advocating the commitment of more soldiers, more cash, and more time in Afghanistan and Iraq became customary. Carrying on the failed policies of the military and political leaders who nominated them for four stars ensured that the future four stars would have a chair when the music stopped. Senators and Congressmen either could not evaluate the nominees or they were reluctant to admit that the system had gotten things wrong from the beginning.

Rather than address the hard issues, political oversight of the armed forces focuses more on policies designed to please constituents or create jobs in their states and districts, policies that neuter the military’s ability to punish substandard performers or to link promotion to merit. The end result justifies the divisive practice of advancing individuals—frequently women and minorities—who are less qualified or not otherwise “selectable” by reducing the numbers of qualified individuals from selection to create spaces.

Clearly, officers who express concern about these policies do not go unnoticed in political circles. These officers are frequently viewed as politically unreliable and are eliminated from promotion to the senior ranks. However, those officers who strongly identify with these policies make themselves known not only to their superiors in uniform, but to members of the House and Senate with an interest in promoting their ideological fellow travelers in uniform to flag rank in the armed forces.

The point is that General Mark Milley is not an isolated example. He’s the product of an environment that has existed for nearly 30 years, if not longer. Behind Mark Milley stand another two dozen four stars ready to take his job that are indistinguishable from him in their attitudes and career patterns.

Is the situation hopeless? History answers with an emphatic “No.”

After the defeat of the U.S. Army’s II Corps, General Sir Harold Alexander, Eisenhower’s British deputy, commented on Fredendall to his American allies, “I’m sure you must have better men than that.” Eisenhower agreed. Major Gen. Patton, a man who but for the outbreak of WWII would have retired as an obscure cavalry colonel, replaced Fredendall.

Will the abysmal outcome in Afghanistan, or the revelations that four stars actively conspired with President Trump’s opponents to undermine his authority, make any difference to how we select the brass? Time will solve the mystery.

Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/20/2021

A short clip of Colonel Macgregor talking with Tucker on Tucker Carlson Today 

The full interview is on foxnation.com

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Joe Piscopo Show 9/16/2021




Col. Douglas Macgregor, retired U.S. Army Colonel, the former senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense, author, and a senior fellow at The American Conservative

Topic: Gen. Milley's alleged phone calls to China

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/14/2021


New Woodward Book:  Milley Had Secret Conversations With The Chinese.  

Milley Told The Chinese He Would Warn Them Of An Attack.

Milley Repeatedly Undermined The Trump White House.


Thursday, September 2, 2021


 National Security Daily

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