In 1971, Colonel David Hackworth was interviewed on ABC’s, “Issues and Answers.” During the interview, Hackworth, a career Army officer, stated in no uncertain terms that the Vietnam War was a disaster and unwinnable. Furthermore, he chastised his fellow Army officers for poor leadership and ineptness. Hackworth was a decorated combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, who had earned enough medals for a whole battalion. He was instantly ostracized by the defense establishment and forced to retire.
Hackworth, who later went on to a distinguished career as a journalist was a polarizing figure who was hated by the brass and loved by the troops. At the time he went on “Issues and Answers” he was being groomed for promotion to general. Hackworth was well aware that his appearance on the TV show would doom his career. He didn’t care. He knew that he had to follow his conscience and tell the public the truth about the Vietnam War. Where is such moral courage among the Army’s senior leaders today? It appears to be vacant, vanished, like a junked aircraft in a desert graveyard.
Today, the Army is beset by a myriad of problems ranging from readiness to doctrinal issues to crackpot feminist directives, which have been forced upon the lean green machine from civilians. While General Odierno did testify to Congress concerning the Army’s readiness issues, I have yet to hear former Chairman of the JCS, General Martin Dempsey or any other general officer utter so much as a peep about anything controversial. Where were the Army’s senior leaders when President Obama withdrew US forces from Iraq in December of 2011? Certainly, Dempsey and just about everyone else in the Army knew the decision was going to lead to disaster……………..MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!