Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

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_pushkin021
thucydides_pushkin021

 

Best Defense is on summer hiatus. During this restful spell we offer re-runs from the past 12 months. This item originally ran on December 23, 2016.

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.

 

Best Defense is on summer hiatus. During this restful spell we offer re-runs from the past 12 months. This item originally ran on December 23, 2016.

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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