Divided, weak-sauce leadership at the top.
After Gates and Mullen affirmed their support for the President’s clearly stated intent, and gave what I thought was a fair and professional assessment of the DoD survey, I could not believe that Amos, Schwartz, and Casey waffled in front of Congress. I get that the SASC wanted all of their honest, individual assessments, and at that level they’re expected to give it. But on the verge of a major policy change like this, presenting a united leadership front is critically important from the perspective of everyone below the four-star level, and in reinforcing the ideas of both integrity of the chain of command and civilian control of the military.
Amos, Schwartz, and Casey should have recognized that fact, and that it is more important than them getting their two cents in. If, after frankly presenting their concerns in private to Gates and Mullen, they couldn’t bring themselves to get behind their boss, they should have resigned on the spot. Would have made their point just as well, while not undermining and sowing the seeds of dissent.
— Posting anonymously for obvious reasons
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