Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

LeMay vs. MacArthur: A smackdown of the right-wing nut four-star generals

I’d kind of assumed that Gen. Curtis LeMay would be a fan of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, because both were right-wing nuts. So I was surprised to read this comment in an interview with LeMay: “I’ll pick out some people who were supposed to have been good leaders. Let’s take MacArthur. I wouldn’t follow that man ...

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I'd kind of assumed that Gen. Curtis LeMay would be a fan of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, because both were right-wing nuts. So I was surprised to read this comment in an interview with LeMay:

"I'll pick out some people who were supposed to have been good leaders. Let's take MacArthur. I wouldn't follow that man out to the outhouse because I don't like him. I don't like his methods …"

(P. 88, Charles Jones and R. Manning Ancell, editors, Four-Star Leadership for Leaders.)

I’d kind of assumed that Gen. Curtis LeMay would be a fan of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, because both were right-wing nuts. So I was surprised to read this comment in an interview with LeMay:

“I’ll pick out some people who were supposed to have been good leaders. Let’s take MacArthur. I wouldn’t follow that man out to the outhouse because I don’t like him. I don’t like his methods …”

(P. 88, Charles Jones and R. Manning Ancell, editors, Four-Star Leadership for Leaders.)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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