Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quote of the day...

...It is an officer’s duty to disagree in private with civilian authority if he believes that an egregious mistake has been made. Then, if the order is not changed, it is that officer’s duty to resign, to throw his stars down on the table and to publicly condemn the policy in question.

It makes me sick that our generals did not have the guts or the courage to condemn Mr. Rumsfeld’s poor planning. Instead, they allowed thousands of our troops to die needlessly.

- Debra A. Ciamaccia (former Captain USMC)
From a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

1 comment:

Chris Jones said...

With respect to Capt Ciamaccia, I do not believe that a "mistake", however egregious, is grounds for resignation in protest and public dissent. If a policy, or the orders that follow from it, is immoral or illegal, then such protest is called for. But for officers to take it upon themselves to judge the wisdom of policy or the competence of the civilian authority is to undermine the principle of civilian control of the military, and to stand military discipline on its head.

I am among those who believe that the Iraq war was ill-conceived, unjustified, and poorly executed. But even if I am right about that, undermining military discipline is not the remedy for it. If our leaders were incompetent, they will be held accountable at the ballot box, by history, and (ultimately) by God. They are not accountable to the officers under their command.