We fully expect that most of our political leadership will lie, cheat and steal,and then try and pass the buck and blame anyone and anything except themselves. The US military is today the most respected institution in this country, primarily for the gallantry and sacrifices of our troops. But as many a general officer rises in the ranks, he or she becomes far more concerned with getting the next star than with fulfilling their oath. He worries more about pleasing the man who makes the nominations than the oath to protect and defend the country, and the troops he commands.
This is not another rant about how political correctness is running wild inside the Pentagon. It is, and the forces are being degraded because of it. The generals were afraid, early on, to end Maj. Hassan's career, refused to call what he did an act of terror, and then, in perhaps the ultimate travesty, continued to pay his salary and benefits to the extent of some $300k, until he was convicted, while returning veterans in need wait endlessly to receive care at VA hospitals.
But Gen Dempsey has committed perhaps the most egregious sin of all: he sat back, kept his mouth shut, and allowed Kerry and Hagel to blatantly lie to the congressional committees and the American people.
The military by long practice and custom, always plans for contingencies, for the worst case scenario. No doubt that somewhere the Pentagon has a war plan for the invasion of Bermuda. But Dempsey failed to keep faith with the men and women in uniform when he let Kerry get away with perhaps the stupidest, and most bald-faced lie, about what we hope to do in Syria.
Kerry admitted that Assad has already dispersed much of his chemical weapons stock to multiple sites around the country, often to places proximate to civilians. The usual places..schools, hospitals..
In the flip-flop over "boots on the ground"....if US forces could become involved in Syria, Kerry hedged by saying that in the unlikely event that some WMD stocks might fall into the hands of the bad guys, we just might have to send in a few squads to secure them. And when asked by Kerry is he wanted to expound, Dempsey declined to do so, to great laughter in the room.
As if that's funny.
Unless, of course, he wants to volunteer to lead a Ranger squad into Indian territory. Before the mission takes off, Dempsey might want to load "Black Hawk Down" onto his I-phone.
The facts are simple, and undisputable:
1. Many of the groups fighting Assad are hard-core AlQeda, who would love to get their hands on WMDs.
2. If Assad falls, and the Ba'ath regime implodes, or is merely weakened we can't guarantee that they won't succeed. At the very least, many of the WMD sites will be at risk.
3. We will have to deploy troops to secure those sites. That is most definitely in our national security to do so.
4. The military must plan for that eventuality, and make sure that the needed forces are in place to carry out the mission, and more are available to support them.
Dempsey knows this full well. Yet he said nothing.
Take away the 4 stars. Give him 4 "*"s instead. He can use them to footnote his report when he tries to explain how it all went wrong.
For it most definitely will.