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Military Review: ‘You Are Fired’

The July-August issue of the Army’s Military Review has a quirky article about the need sometimes to relieve commanders. (Hey, there might be a book in that notion!)   “Relief is a necessary and inevitable tool of leadership that must be applied judiciously and effectively,” avers retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Michael Symanski. The article mentions ...

via Wikimedia
via Wikimedia

The July-August issue of the Army’s Military Review has a quirky article about the need sometimes to relieve commanders. (Hey, there might be a book in that notion!)  

“Relief is a necessary and inevitable tool of leadership that must be applied judiciously and effectively,” avers retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Michael Symanski.

The article mentions that some in Afghanistan think its soldiers should elect their officers. That struck me as an interesting solution to the problem we have seen of national leaders in Vietnam and Iraq picking generals not for competence but for political loyalty. Troops going into combat are likely to be very serious about judging military effectiveness of their potential 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. @tomricks1

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