But I still state unhesitatingly, that for pure, vacillating stupidity, for superb incompetence to command, for ignorance combined with bad judgement – in short for the true talent for catastrophe – [Elphinstone] stood alone. Others abide our question, but Elphy outshines them all as the greatest military idiot of our own or any other day
George MacDonald Fraser
I’m a fan of George MacDonald Fraser, both his fiction and nonfiction. I’m especially a fan of his Flashman novels. I’m rereading the first novel in that series, the eponymous Flashman, and was struck by the fact that his description of the hapless Sir William Elphinstone in the First Afghan War applies equally well to our current president and how he is conducting our first Afghan war.
Consider this your midday open thread.