Elected officials criticized U.S. military leadership without maintaining accountability through challenges to the budget of the Department of Defense (DOD), former Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller said on Thursday’s edition of the Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
“No one’s been held accountable,” he said. “Congress took turns with their sound bites of anger directed towards the generals, but then nothing happened. The real influence within Congress is the DOD budget, and none of them had the courage to challenge the DOD budget. They approved it unanimously, actually, six days before they all stood in front of the generals and told them how angry they were.”
He added, “It takes someone with actual leadership abilities — and to understand foreign diplomacy — to do some of the things that we need to do, and right now, actions have demonstrated that we don’t have that.”
Corrupt and incompetent military brass are beneficiaries of reflexive praise for the armed forces, Scheller noted. He warned that blind acclaim for the military reduces accountability among its leadership and increases the risk of harm to rank and file servicemembers.
He remarked, “Military leaders that should be advising on [operations in Afghanistan] absolutely can be held accountable, and it just goes back to [how] we’ve been lionizing the military, and people want to show appreciation, and criticizing them almost feels un-American. But the truth is, we need criticism on those general officers more than we ever have before to help the junior servicemember.”
Failures in Afghanistan resemble those in Vietnam, Scheller assessed, which he attributed to the four-star combatant commanders, the National Security Council, secretary of defense, and President of the United States.
He said, “After Vietnam — let’s just use that as a parallel — we lost, but we still won almost every tactical battle, but we lost at the operational strategic level, but after Vietnam, we allowed the general officers — who none of them were held accountable – we allowed them to say, ‘Well, it was the draft. There was a drug problem. We need to increase the standards. We need to clean up the service. We need to change our tactics,’ and they essentially focused on the tactical level, even though that’s not where the failure occurred.”
“The same thing is happening right now with the GWOT generation,” he added. “They’re saying, ‘Hey, we need to mature the force. We need to look at distributor operations. We need to do all these different things on a tactical level.’ That’s not where we’re failing. We need to hold general officers accountable at the operational level. We need to hold the secretary of defense — there’s a long list of them [who] need to be held accountable — for the failures in the link between the strategic operational to the tactical level, and so that, to me, is the fundamental problem, and how you do that is you hold general officers accountable.”
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