Young Officers Challenge Brass on Iraq

Critiques of failure reveal rift between generals, troops
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2007 10:01 AM CDT
Young Officers Challenge Brass on Iraq
Iraqi soldiers search a building in Baqouba, Iraq, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Thursday, June 28, 2007. Joint US and Iraqi military offensive in the city of Baqouba to drive militants out of the town is in it's second week. (AP Photo/Talal Mohammed)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A growing number of young military officers are offering critiques of what went wrong in Iraq, revealing a generational divide between officers on the ground and the generals who deploy them, the Wall Street Journal reports. In an scathing essay in Armed Forces Journal,  Lt. Col. Paul Yingling charged that top brass failed to prepare for guerrilla fights, and then failed to adapt as quickly as front-line troops.

Yingling, a 41-year-old veteran of two tours in Iraq, said the system rewards generals for conforming and discourages risk-taking, while young officers have to adapt to stay alive. His solution: to change the promotion system to include reviews by subordinates. The response from higher-ups to the hotly debated essay: Col. Yingling's not qualified to judge. (Read more Paul Yingling stories.)

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