- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A research-prone reader sends this interesting note:
Thought you may find it interesting that, with GEN McKiernan’s dismissal and the appointments of LTGs McChrystal & Rodriguez to command positions in Afghanistan, every 3- and 4-star general officer exclusively directing the ongoing wars will soon be a West Point graduate:
“War Czar” LTG Doug Lute ’75
USCENTCOM CG GEN David Petraeus ’74
MNF-I CG GEN Ray Odierno ’76
MNC-I CG LTG Charles Jacoby ’78 (who recently replaced LTG Lloyd Austin, ’75)
MNSTC-I CG LTG Frank Helmick ’76
ISAF/USF-A-designate LTG Stan McChrystal ’76
New Operational Commander (MNC-I equivalent) LTG David Rodriguez ’76
Additionally, the new ambassador to Afghanistan is Karl Eikenberry is USMA ’73.
That’s not bad, considering that West Point expelled dozens of cadets for cheating in a 1976 scandal — but I think from the class of ’77, which doesn’t appear on the above list, perhaps because of its unusually high attrition rate.
Meanwhile, another officer notes that the guys who have been criticized, fairly or unfairly, are disproportionately not from WPCC:
GEN Tommy Franks, OCS (CENTCOM)
GEN John Abizaid, USMA ’73 (CENTCOM)
GEN George Casey, ROTC (MNF-I)
GEN Dan K. McNiell, OCS (ISAF)
GEN David McKiernan, ROTC (ISAF)
LTG Ricardo Sanchez, ROTC (CJTF-7/MNC-I)
Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge.| The E-Ring |