TALK BY MAJOR GENERAL JARVIS LYNCH
Summary December 17, 2012
The General spoke about the overall devaluation of American life that results from the acceptance of needless deaths. This devaluation certainly occurs in the civilian world, but Lynch was concerned mainly with the incompetence that has resulted in the wasting of military lives in Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The military has not yet learned how to fight a counterinsurgency or “small war.” He spoke to four recurring mistakes:
Preparing for the wrong war.
The pivot to the Pacific is at best a distraction, since the next conflict is not likely
to start there.
Ground troops given impossible tasks.
They are asked to support a government that both the US and the people of the host country consider corrupt.
Fighting enemies that can retreat to safe havens.
An enemy that can hide in an adjacent, noncombatant country cannot be beaten.
Troops cannot fight for or against a country and build its schools at the same time.
When asked where intelligence collecting breaks down, the General explained that intelligence goes up the chain of command until it reaches a level where it does not agree with that level’s pre-conceived understanding of the situation. There it stalls.
When asked about the exit strategy he would recommend for Afghanistan, the General said we should clean up our stuff, leave, and not do it again.
The “Silence of the Lions (veterans)” needs to be broken in order to stop the repetition of mistakes and the consequent wasting and devaluation of American life.
Some Generals are political and some are caring. Major General Jarvis Lynch is a caring General.
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