Lack of responsibility for those in charge


It was on May 14, 1952 that an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The subject of the article was the collision of two US Navy ships, the USS Wasp and the USS Hobson, resulting in the deaths of 176 people. In the army, the commander with authority over his ship is also responsible for everything that happens or does not happen under his command. The article rightly states that with responsibility goes responsibility.

We have just witnessed the highest level leadership of our military in silent approval as the current administration dictated the abandonment of our role in Afghanistan while knowingly abandoning Bagram Air Base, abandoning more than 2 000 armored vehicles, including 70 Mine Resistant Ambush Protégé (MRAPS), 40 aircraft, including UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, sweeping drones and an assortment of other weapons and equipment, and, most shamefully of all, around 200 American civilians and thousands of Afghan supporters.

It is clear that the CENTCOM commander and the chiefs of staff knew that fulfilling the president’s schedule would mean tens of billions of dollars in advanced military equipment would be left to the Taliban. Most unforgivably, however, they knew that it also meant that an unknown number of American civilians would be left hostage or worse and that most of our Afghan supporters would be left to be slaughtered, thus breaking a solum promise to protect these people from the harshest of people. reprisals. .

The abandonment of the Americans violates the fundamental premise of the United States military to never let a soldier or Marine fall in action. Already. By surrendering and letting this happen under their watch, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Commander of CENTCOM have dishonored the United States, the United States military, and themselves.

We hear nothing from these people. And so I want to quote the last lines of the Wall Street Journal article mentioned above because it is the most applicable here. The article discusses the impact of the lack of accountability of high authority personnel.

“… as the cruel sea has taught, lack of responsibility is the end of trust in men who lead, for men will not long trust leaders who feel beyond the responsibility of this that they do “(or do not do)” And when men lose confidence and confidence in those who lead, order disintegrates into chaos … “

These leaders had the opportunity to oppose what they must know was a debacle that would tarnish the reputation of the United States and our military. They could have done the honorable thing and resigned in protest before this disaster ensued.

Dave Clough lives in Bigfork.


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