This is merely a symptom, though, of the greater moral crisis inside the military. It now appears that CENTCOM, the command responsible for losing the phony war against ISIS, was cooking the intelligence books to support the Obama administration’s policies. It’s hard to imagine General James Mattis tolerating that nonsense. As a warrior with integrity, he had no place in the current leadership and was fired as CENTCOM commander, apparently for gross competence.
Then there is the Ranger School fiasco, where the generals are assuring everyone who will listen that the two women who passed the grueling course did so just like any male candidate. We’d love to believe that—it would be an awesome achievement. But, according to some close to the process, that was a lie, and the process was fixed from the beginning to obtain the politically useful result. The Navy secretary did not raise confidence that truth takes precedence over political expediency when he dismissed out of hand the lengthy, deliberate Marine Corp study on women in infantry units as purely the result of sexism.
Then there are the personal lapses. General David Petraeus slept with a subordinate and treated classified material cavalierly; not being a senior Democrat ally of President Obama, he was actually charged with a crime. Another general at the 82nd Airborne was court martialed for using his staff as a harem. In the least shocking development ever, neither general joined lower-ranking soldiers guilty of equivalent or lesser offenses in prison.
We have the greatest troops in the world, probably in all of human history. Fighting with old, worn equipment is a challenge, but that can be overcome. The lack of competent, morally courageous senior leaders can’t be.