In defense of Mike Mullen
By Dov Zakheim Ad hominem attacks are always, and by definition, below the belt and not to be taken seriously. But Larry Korb has gone too far in going after Mike Mullen. Full disclosure: Mike Mullen is a personal friend. But it is precisely because I know him well that I can state without hesitation ...
By Dov Zakheim
By Dov Zakheim
Ad hominem attacks are always, and by definition, below the belt and not to be taken seriously. But Larry Korb has gone too far in going after Mike Mullen.
Full disclosure: Mike Mullen is a personal friend. But it is precisely because I know him well that I can state without hesitation that Korb’s assertions simply do not hold water. Mike Mullen is a man of bedrock integrity, who continues to serve his nation simply because he was asked to. It was not at all clear that Mike was prepared to serve a second term as chairman of the joint chiefs. But when his commander in chief asked him to do so, he agreed.
Korb’s argument is in any event internally inconsistent: he quotes Mullen’s response to Gen. Dan McNeill’s 2007 request for 30,000 troops and then somehow blends it with Gen. Dave McKiernan’s request a year later. Generals are always asking for more troops. It is the job of the Chairman to evaluate those requests, and say "no" when that is the proper answer. Perhaps we needed 30,000 more troops in 2007; not everyone was screaming from the ramparts that we did. And to cite Earl Wheeler’s request for a million troops in 1965 is beside the point. Should we really have deployed a million troops? Would liberals like Larry Korb, who argued strongly against William Westmoreland’s requests for more troops, really have supported Wheeler’s request? Did they?
Everyone who knows Mike Mullen recognizes two things about the man: he is immensely modest, and he "calls them as he sees them." One can argue whether Mike made the right call in 2007; what is beyond argument, however, is that the call he made was not the call he really saw.
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