“How Our Generals Got So Mediocre”

17 May ’07

A superb piece in Slate today by Fred Kaplan on the failure of leadership in the U.S. military and its political leaders. One of many gists:

The “tendency of the executive branch [is] to seek out mild-mannered team players to serve as senior generals,” he writes. But, he adds, the services “are equally to blame. The system that produces our generals does little to reward creativity and moral courage. … In a system in which senior officers select for promotion those like themselves, there are powerful incentives for conformity. It is unreasonable to expect that an officer who spends 25 years conforming to … expectations will emerge as an innovator in his late forties.”

(A side note entirely, but could one not say the same about Bell?)

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