Dear Admiral McRaven —
Hope this note finds everything well for you and yours. I caught your Op-Ed in the New York Times in regard to the state of our Republic and thought I might share some thoughts with you.
Your Republic asks one thing from its military leaders — WIN OUR WARS.
We do not give partial credit for style; we don’t count ties; and, we should hold our military leadership accountable when we lose.
I point out to you, Admiral McRaven, that we have lost in Afghanistan, at best tied in Iraq (we damn sure lost the peace), have managed to FUBAR Syria, but we smacked the snot out of the Caliph, destroyed the Caliphate, and decimated ISIS.
Your Republic entrusted you with the lives of mothers’ son, weapons beyond belief, the most sophisticated ammunition in the history of munitions, the most advanced intel capabilities, and gobs and gobs and gobs of money.
Your Republic went into hock to support your fight with what was a third world, ragtag, light infantry force with not much more than mortars.
You outnumbered them. You outgunned them. You had incredible intel. You got beaten like a rented mule by them.
Admiral, look at me. You and the other general officers got chased out of Afghanistan by some opposing leaders who didn’t go to Annapolis, BUDs, weren’t SEALs/Rangers/Special Forces/Marines/combat engineers, didn’t go to Command & General Staff College, the Army War College, the Navy War College, or have access to the best Air/Sea/Land warfighting doctrine on the planet.
Admiral, your Republic gave you everything we had. You did not, could not get the job done.
Own it, Admiral McRaven. You got beat by a third world, rag tag, light infantry who out-generaled you.
I should also point out that while y’all struggled with ISIS for six years, President Trump came into office and within a month had re-focused the effort against ISIS, re-tooled the Rules of Engagement, put some steel into y’all’s backbone, put some sack into the effort and within a year ISIS was on the verge of defeat, the Caliph is MIA, and the Caliphate is conquered. The guy whose balls you are busting showed y’all how the cow was going to eat the cabbage.
On behalf of the Republic and you, Admiral McRaven, may I say: “Thanks, Trump, for providing the leadership the general officer corp could not.”
One other thing, Admiral, you have besmirched the honor of the general officer corps by your sheep dipped plunge into partisan politics. You are an ardent supporter of President Obama (I get that he promoted you and you were one of his favorite politically correct stuffed toy generals, I get it), and Hillary Clinton.
But, Admiral, you should have left it with being a Presidential and aspiring Presidential jock sniffer.
There is something in the Uniform Code of Military Justice called Article 88. May I refresh your memory, please. It sets out the standard for the conduct of a commissioned officer — even applies to the Navy — as it relates to making contemptuous utterances about the Republic’s Commander-in-Chief. Take a quick read.
“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
You and I both know that you have repeatedly violated your duty to uphold the dignity of your position and have violated this article of the UCMJ. Not a very good example for the men under your command, Admiral. Speaking for the Republic, cut this nonsense out and act like an adult.
Let me close by giving you some advice on behalf of the Republic: “Go make your bed, Admiral. Stay within your lane of competence. The Republic is going to be just fine.”
All we ask of our military leaders is to win our wars. If you can’t do it, the Republic will get someone who can. And, please, Admiral, do not give us advice when you are standing in the losers’ circle.
With kindest personal regards, I am
The Big Red Car