Col. H.R. McMaster: Says army is slow to adapt to change

Historians in the News

... The American military’s difficulty in securing Iraq has led to much soul-searching within the armed forces on how to prepare for future conflicts. Col. H. R. McMaster of the Army, who commanded the successful effort in 2005 to secure the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, asserts in a new article that an exaggerated faith in military technology and a corresponding undervaluation of political and military measures to secure the peace undermined American efforts in Iraq.

“Self-delusion about the character of future conflict weakened U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he wrote in Survival, a journal published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Colonel McMaster added in the article that the Army “is finding it difficult to cut completely loose from years of wrongheaded thinking,” noting that assumptions that high-technology systems will provide the American military with “dominant knowledge” of the battlefield has formed much of the justification for the Army program to build the Future Combat System....
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Patrick Murray - 2/14/2008

The Army, in its infinite wisdom, has passed over McMaster for brigadier general. McMaster won the battle of 73 Easting in the First Gulf War, and pacified Tal Afar in the Second Gulf War. He is being punished for having written Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam (His doctoral dissertation at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)that HarperCollins published 100,000 copies in hardback. This book led six retired generals to speak out at the harm done the army and the country by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.