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Best Defense

Should the bottom 10 percent of commanders be removed annually? Depends on whether you want to win!

That’s what the historical record suggests, as I have written before.

thucydides_pushkin02

 

That’s what the historical record suggests, as I have written before. Not all militaries do it, of course — but winning ones, like Nelson’s Royal Navy and Eisenhower’s Army, did.

I bring this up again because in reading some ancient Greek history, I noticed this sentence: “During the Peloponnesian War alone, about 11 percent of the known generalships culminated in the prosecution of the general holding the office.” (The Athenians were very tough on losers — they sent some into exile, and executed many others.)

Speaking of firings, the former G-3 for EUCOM got an unusual 4-step demotion (MG to LTC) for his swinging lifestyle.

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons 

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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