Mission command: OK, but what do you do when your subordinate commanders fail to execute your clear intent?
- By Thomas E. RicksThomas 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 email@example.com.
I’d like to read more about this problem. The question in the headline occurred to me when I read a comment by a survivor of Pickett’s Charge, who said that, “Our failure to a great extent can be laid to General Lee’s one fault — he left too much to his subordinate officers.”
The author of the book where I read this adds, “Lee failed to keep his subordinates on a tight leash to ensure that his orders were carried out to the letter.” He notes that Longstreet was lethargic and opposed to the tactical plan, Pickett was in the wrong place, and A.P. Hill was distracted by “a bad case of gonorrhea.”
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