Controversy in the military: Will anything change?

Published 11 years ago -  - 11y ago 36

“New weapons require new tactics. Never put new wine into old bottles.” Heinz Guderian, a German officer who challenged der Fuhrer.

He grew up in Pittsburgh in a working class, uneducated family. His father owned a bar. Leaving behind the drinking and brawling that had overtaken his life, he joined the Army at the age of seventeen. Five years later he graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in international relations and an ROTC commission in the Field Artillery. He was a fire direction officer during the Gulf War, commanded a target acquisition battery in Bosnia, got a masters degree in international relations from University of Chicago, taught at West Point, attended the Command and General Staff College and the School Advanced Military studies at Fort Leavenworth, served a stint in Korea and two deployments to Iraq. Now a Lt. Colonel he is deputy commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

His name is Paul Yingling (The name Yingling is generally of German origin.)

While attending a Purple Heart ceremony for soldiers wounded in Iraq he concluded “these soldiers were doing their jobs. The senior officers were not doing theirs. We’re not giving our soldiers the tools and training to succeed. I had to go public.“ In the May Issue of the Armed Forces Journal, Yingling published a strident critique of the military leadership in Iraq entitled “A Failure in Generalship”. Read the essay here.

Another Army officer was one of seven children, a point guard on his high school basketball team, a national merit scholar, and a devout Catholic Christian. In 1983 he graduated third in his class from West Point. He served in 82nd Airborne Division, learned Russian and Italian, got a masters degree from Emory University and became an instructor at West Point. In 2004 he got a call asking if he would like to serve in Iraq. He wholeheartedly supported the war and quickly agreed to serve. He began his service with this convoluted title, “director, counter terrorism/special operations, Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq“. His work involved Iraqi police and a company called U. S. Investigations Services (USIS), a Virginia based company partially owned by Carlyle Group with a $79 million contract to train Iraqi police units. He worked under two Generals, Lt. General David Petraeus (now a full General and commander of the Mult-National Force – Iraq.) and Major General Joseph Fil. Petraeus liked him, complimented his performance, and promoted him to full Colonel.

Initially all went well but as time went on USIS billings became suspect, there were accusations they were killing Iraqis, weapons and costly radios began to disappear, and someone sent him a letter contending USIS was “’not providing what you are paying for’ and that the entire training operation was ‘a total failure.’” There is no functioning judicial system in Iraq and prosecution of USIS was impossible. He was frustrated and wanted to quit.

His name was Ted Westhusing.

On June 5th, 2005, a month before he was scheduled to return to the states Colonel Ted Westhusing was found dead in his trailer at Camp Dublin in Baghdad. The death was ruled a suicide. He was 44 years old. The following note was found addressed to his commanders.

“Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name]—You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff—no msn [mission] support and you don’t care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied—no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential—I don’t know who trust anymore. [sic] Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it.”    —COL Ted Westhusing

In a recent interview Lt. Colonel Yingling said, “I find it hard to look them in the eye. Our generals are not worthy of their soldiers… a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war”. His widely read essay “A Failure in Generalship” contends that wars are fought by nations, not armies, and the people’s support is necessary. He excoriates Iraqi commanding officers for failing to stand up to civilian leaders by demanding a winning size army and condemns congress for not overseeing the promotions of well educated, versatile, and adaptable officers who would insure a winning team. He points out the fatal error of assuming subsequent wars will be fought the same as past wars, and writes “America’s defeat in Vietnam is the most egregious failure in the history of American arms. America’s general officer corps refused to prepare the Army to fight unconventional wars, despite ample indications that such preparations were in order. Having failed to prepare for such wars, America’s generals sent our forces into battle without a coherent plan for victory. Unprepared for war and lacking a coherent strategy, America lost the war and the lives of more than 58,000 service members.” He contends the same thing is happening in Iraq. In conclusion he argues that American generals have been stymied by a type of warfare they were not prepared for and did not understand.

Corporal Pat Tillman, the pro-football player who gave up a multi-million dollar contract to serve his country in Iraq was killed with three M-16 rounds in the forehead by someone estimated to be ten yards away. Initially his superior officers claimed he was a hero killed by enemy fire but as the evidence got out, they were forced to admit a portion of the truth. Now the official cause of death is “friendly fire” but the person who pulled the trigger has not been named and thus cannot be prosecuted. Tillman had an Afghan companion in the fatal hour, he was also killed. There is some speculation that Tillman might have been murdered. In direct violation of army regulations and in an all too familiar scenario all the evidence, his clothing, his bullet-proof vest, and personal pocket notebook, were destroyed. The story is that his military unit was separated by a vehicle breakdown and when the following Humvee came around a corner and spotted Tillman’s Afghan companion they thought it was an enemy and killed them both.

Tillman’s brother, Kevin, was in the same group but too far behind to witness his brother’s death. He and everyone else who witnessed the events of that day were sworn to silence with a threat of retaliation. Kevin broke his silence last October. He wrote: “Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country. Somehow this is tolerated. Somehow nobody is accountable for this. In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.” Read the entire diatribe here.

Both Tillman and Westhusing were high profile soldiers deeply disillusioned with the war. Westhusing had expressed his rage to his family. His behavior just prior to his death was noticeably strange. He stopped exercising and began to chew tobacco. During interviews he fidgeted with his sidearm. He was depressed and threatened to quit. Nevertheless, his suicide only a month before he was scheduled to return to the states is puzzling.

John T. Reed, a West Point Graduate with a Harvard Business School degree and real estate experience in California maintains a webpage with his opinions on military matters and other things of interest. See his page here. He writes “Westhusing was apparently extremely unhappy about widespread corruption in Iraq and speaking out about it. That can get you killed.” Read his review of the final report on the Tillman case here.

There are other voices contending against the conduct of the Iraq War. In April, retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni announced that Donald Rumsfeld should be held accountable for disregarding ten years of planning for what the military would face in Iraq. Retired Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack chimed in against Rumsfeld. He was joined by retired Major Gen. John Riggs, retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, and Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton. General Riggs publicly accused Rumsfeld of helping create an atmosphere of arrogance in the Pentagon civilian leadership; adding that “They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda.”

War and strategy scholar William Lind was way ahead of all the Generals in condemning the efforts in Iraq. He coined the “Fourth Generation Warfare” description and long before the initial invasion predicted failure. Read his archives here.

There are some interesting aspects to all this. First, it is obvious that none of these high ranking individuals have read any of the literature produced by the John Birch Society. The idea that a conspiracy to drain wealth from the United States while gaining hegemony without victory does not enter the discussions The fact that Rumsfeld knowingly failed to provide the army with an adequate number of troops to win the war and apparently purposefully disregarded studies that might have changed the conduct of the war, lends credence to this scenario. Second, though it may be purely coincidental, Yingling’s degree in international relations from University of Chicago joins him with other alumnus who contributed heavily to our current foreign policy. Singled out by the Rockefeller Foundation while living in Europe and brought to U of C as a highly paid employee, erstwhile professor Leo Strauss was a key educator in the lives of several influential members of the Bush II Administration. I wrote about this in a previous essay. Read it here.

University of Chicago was founded by John D. Rockefeller and when they so desire, the family influences its policies. With the interest in international relations and his brilliant aggressive nature it is hard to believe that Lt. Colonel Paul Yingling would not have come to the attention of the Rockefellers and their world government clan.

The Armed Forces Journal where Yingling published his essay is owned by Gannett Publications.

John T. Reed writes this on his page , “The career of any officer who won the Whistle-Blower’s Medal would be over. Sure, his superiors would wait a judicious period of time before moving his office to the broom closet, but no officer in the U.S. Army or any other large organization wants a whistle-blower for a subordinate.”

Following are the words to the West Point Cadet Prayer:

“O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of human hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural. Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy. Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer. Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country. All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of all. – Amen”

A final comment: Generals whose integrity is so sullied that they will delete the proper name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, accede to the homosexual lobby, condone torture, and at the very pinnacle acquiesce to the equality of women in combat, can never thereafter be depended upon to support righteousness or to succeed in gaining military victories. They are but foppish sycophants willing to sell their souls for power and filthy lucre.


Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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