McMaster has already been passed over once, so if he makes the cut, that will be a good sign IMHO. There’s been some grumbling about SF officers being shortchanged in favor of Big Army types at promotion time, too.
We should be so lucky. I certainly hope we do.
Any Grant or Sherman will retire at 0-5 or 0-6 after being passed over, or, if they stay in, will be put in charge of the daycare benefit for unwed mothers.
Victor Davis Hanson is a national treasure. We need to find some way to download his brain.
A good article, thanks for posting it. I do hope those who have engineered the successes in Iraq and Afghanistan are well rewarded for their efforts. They do deserve it. Thanks to VDH for bringing this to light.
On the other hand Lee was the direct result of the Army at the time. That said, most of the good senior officers at the beginning of the war were southerners.
After the first day of battle at Shiloh the Union forces were pushed back to the banks of the Tennessee River. One of Grant’s generals, possibly Sherman, commented to general Grant, “They sure whooped us today”. Grant replied, “We’ll get ‘em tomorrow.”
I’m not telling what happened on that “tomorrow”, you all should already know.
General Grant was different than others, he was willing to keep ordering his men into battle, even after thousands of deaths and maiming injuries, he kept pushing them forward at the enemy. He was called “The Butcher”. Cold Harbor. General Grant saved the Union of the States.
Just because mssers McMaster, Tovo, and MacFarland have not yet been selected does not mean there are not those out there who are selected.
VDH is obviously lobbying for some soldier-scholar compatriots.
We do but very few of the competent officers are willing to put up with the ass kissing politics and backstabbing that it usually takes to attain star ranks.
Grant was a disgraced captain at the start of the war and the political generals and politicians did their best to keep Grant and Sherman out of the army and command. It took a war to eventually move them to a position where they could make a difference. Generals like McClelland (the McArthur of his time) prolonged the war and caused more troops to die while keeping leaders like Grant and Sherman out.
It has only become worse in modern times.
We have them....but the wars they fight in are too different to compare. If you send a general on a Sherman march In Iraq, every soldier under him would be brought up on war crime charges and found guilty. Much like in the movie The Patriot, when wars are fought with hand tying rules, it’s the ones with their hands tied that suffer the most.
bump & a ping
Both Grant and Sherman were fighting during a period of technical change in warfare.
They fought like their muskets had an effective range of 100 yards.
Their muskets and mini-balls actually had an effective range of 200-300 yards.
This combination led to wholesale slaughter that can only be attributed (in 20/20 hindsight) to both sides military leaders failure to recognize that war had changed.
Grant deserves to be called a butcher. He just had more cannon fodder then Lee and a willingness to ‘spend it’.
Lee on the other hand doesn’t deserve the praise he gets. Granting he was tactically a genius that doesn’t give him a pass on his lack of insight into the effective range issue. He could have blitzed Washington DC.
I am not one to disagree with VDH but he seems to give a hard time to Rosecrans. He was able to advance from Nashville to Chattanooga by continously outflanking the Confederate forces. Although I suppose that could be a negative since he did not physically destroy the Confederate army like Grant was eventually able to do with Lee. Of course Rosecrans deserved to be sacked after Chickamauga.
Let me know if you want in or out.
Links: FR Index of his articles: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=victordavishanson
His website: http://victorhanson.com/
NRO archive: http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson-archive.asp
These three colonels have had decorated careers in Iraq mastering the complexities of working with Iraqi forces in hunting down terrorists and insurgents. And they -- like David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq -- in the past have not always reflected the Army establishment in Washington. Their unconventional views about counterinsurgency warfare do not hinge on high-tech weaponry, tanks, artillery, and rapid massed advance.Thanks neverdem.
What about Robert E. Lee???
Before long we will need an American Pinochet.