In April I tagged Steve Coll’s write-up in the New Yorker on free-speaking senior military officers and their treatment by a thin-skinned White House ("Iraqi Jabberwocky"). The discussion was a good lead-in to the events of the past week, which saw senior US Air Force management sacked for a variety of reasons. Two new publications germane to the issue are worth reading:
- Robert L. Bateman, "Cause For Relief: Why Presidents No Longer Fire Generals." Armed Forces Journal (June 2008).
- Martin L. Cook. "Revolt of the Generals: A Case Study in Professional Ethics." Parameters (Spring 2008).
Historian Mark Grimsley, at Blog them Out of the Stone Age, notes of the Bateman piece: "It was conceived and written long before Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s recent relief of the Secretary of the Air Force and Air Force Chief of Staff, but I would imagine that this event hasn’t altered Bob’s overall perspective — though surely he must take it as a positive sign."