Leadership: March 27, 2000

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More and more, American army officers are being told that their primary mission is to prevent any possibility of their troops getting killed or injured. The trend has been growing since Vietnam and became cast in stone after the public noted the extremely low casualties in the Gulf War. The politicians soon put the word out to the military; no American troops are to get killed in action. As the older generation of officers retire, the younger, "no loss" generation takes over. The down side of this is that the battlefield mission is now secondary to protecting the troops. This is not said out loud, but among themselves, most officers admit that their primary mission is not doing what they were publicly sent out to do, but to make sure no American troops get hurt. After years of this, it will be difficult for these officers to act otherwise when the mission is really, really important. Like defending American civilians or going after terrorists possessing nuclear or biological weapons. You can't turn the troops on or off, you train them for years and then they automatically do what they are trained to do. For the last decade, we have been training the officers to protect themselves at the expense of fighting.

 


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