The Washington Post
The original proposition
Regarding the Sept. 10 front-page article “Ex-brass thrive in postwar environs”:
Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was pivotal to delivering victory in World War II, often quoted France’s Georges Clemenceau’s insight from the first global conflagration: “War is too important to be left to the generals.” This dictum is worth revisiting after the back-to-back failed wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, i.e., each ending up disastrously far from the mission declared at the start. Doing so is timely when reading of Afghanistan that “many of the decisions made and the strategies pursued” were “the best strategy that could have been,” quoting retired Gen. Stanley Mcchrystal of the Mcchrystal Group, despite the “disappointing outcome.” To believe that the particulars were gotten wrong, not that the overall objective was misconceived — in this case 20 impossible years of nation-building — is also a dangerous fallacy of management: Don’t blame the bungling follow-through without questioning the original proposition.
Derek Leebaert, Washington