Skip to comments.The Clark Standard
Posted on 10/05/2003 9:59:26 AM PDT by Pokey78
Finally, the skinny on what former Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Hugh Shelton meant by questioning the integrity and character of retired general and Democratic presidential candidate Wes Clark. Pentagon sources say Clark gave overly optimistic assessments about winning the war in Bosnia. Worse, Clark often cozied up to European and United Nations officials to get what he wanted in the war, at times disobeying Shelton's orders. "In terms of the honesty and integrity of most politicians, Clark is probably in the 99th percentile," says one who observed the Shelton-Clark spats. "But it's a different standard when you're talking about professional military officers." No reaction from candidate Clark. Shelton, says spokeswoman Kym Spell, "is entitled to his own opinion."
There is something else which caused Shelton to say this, in my opinion. Note that this "explanation" sort of makes Shelton seem a bit petty and having a sour grapes attitude towards Shelton. I think it is Rat spin, myself.
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Apparently the author hasn't spent much time dealing with field to general grade officers. Past a certain point the vast majority of them are simply politicians. Clark may be in the 99th percentile, but I doubt it would be on the 'honesty' scale.
Pentagon sources say Clark gave overly optimistic assessments about winning the war in Bosnia
The war was in Kosovo or you could say Yugoslavia or even Serbia. Bosnia was not involved. And overly optimistic (or pessimistic)assessments don't get you fired--had to be something else.
Worse, Clark often cozied up to European and United Nations officials to get what he wanted in the war, at times disobeying Shelton's orders.
The UN did not approve that war and was not involved. It was a NATO operation. And Clark, as the commander of European Command (CINC as they were then called) did not work for Shelton, he worked for the Secretary of Defense--Cohen. Shelton certainly would have had a lot of input, but he could only give orders to Clark if they were from the SecDef and he did not have hire or fire authority; it was Cohen's call.
Presumably, they had a good reason for keeping Clark's mitts off these units. Probably, they believed he would misuse them.
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