Green Beret: Vote Trump! He Probably is More Competent than the Generals!

It’s getting dangerously close to election day, and the Clinton campaign has just started showing its latest fun-filled advertisement starring retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. John Allen, who wholeheartedly endorses the former Secretary of State (see video above).  After viewing it, I couldn’t resist the urge to set the record straight on a few things, so here it goes.

People that have never been in the military, which is the vast majority, seem to have the mistaken belief that only the best and brightest soldiers are promoted to the ranks of general. The real go-getter and warfighters. The baddest of the bad. Strategic geniuses, the finest military minds our great nation has to offer. After all, the military is the only place left that promotes purely on merit, right? No politically correct quota systems for the serious business of combat, surely? Our last true meritocracy.

I have bad news for you folks. Most of the Generals are fucking morons, and they wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the private sector if they didn’t have those retired stars on their shoulders to aid them in the lobbying and procurement of government contracts for the corporate elites they now serve.

The worst thing I ever did for my military career was read the account of our invasion of Iraq from the perspective of the top brass in charge of it. I am talking, of course, about “Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq” by Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor.  It is considered to be the definitive narrative on that phase of the war.

Now, I already knew the tactical story of the invasion, I fought in it. And I am well aware of how fluid a combat situation can get, both from my own experiences and my studies of history. This was my first time at the proverbial rodeo, so many things I attributed at the time to what Clausewitz disciples might call “the fog of war.” Nothing goes according to plan, and you can’t know everything — maxims as old as warfare itself.

On a tactical level, we skull dragged the Iraqi army across the pavement, before curb stomping them into oblivion. But what I didn’t know at the time was we were being led by incompetent retards at the highest levels (No offense to Gen. Trainor. He had to be as horrified as I was since he actually saw action as a platoon commander in Korea. More on that later).

Michael Gordon was embedded with Gen. Tommy Franks, the allied land commander during the invasion, and Franks has never disputed a word of what Gordon wrote in his book. In fact, he seemed to relish it as gospel, at least after the invasion was a huge success, and before it turned into an insurgent nightmare of tribal religious jihad insanity. You may forget, there was a 3-4 month time period after said invasion that it looked like everything was going to be cool. So, let’s take a moment and look at Gen. Franks decisions leading up to that epic win we call Operation Iraqi Freedom or OIF I.

Within the first few pages of Cobra II, Gordon references Gen. Franks fascination with the movie “Gladiator” multiple times. Franks watched it incessantly, used clips from the movie as inspirational introductions to his senior officer briefings, and even made his troops loudly repeat “Strength and Honor!” at the closing of every interaction with him.

As a professional soldier, I am deeply disturbed that the clown shoe in charge was relying on a Russel Crowe fictional character to inspire him to victory. With all the depth of military history to draw from — not just our own American heritage of valor and glory, but the entire human race since one killer ape picked up the first club to defend his way of life — our Supreme Allied Commander chose Russel Crowe in an Armani tunic as his muse.

Now I was just a lowly NCO. A buck sergeant in fact, while this was happening. Franks was a graduate of the goddamn Armed Forces Staff College. I am obviously a lowbrow heathen, and it is common knowledge that NCOs are as illiterate as they are treacherous. But even I would have picked, perhaps, the Battle of Camaron (Bataille de Camerone, if you prefer French), a last stand of the Foreign Legion in Mexico that is still celebrated to this day.

Or, maybe I would have channeled Gen. George S. Patton and Operation Torch if I wanted a story with a happier ending (and to rub France’s nose in shit for good measure). “Iwo Jima,” or even John Wayne in  “The Sands of Iwo Jima,” would have been light years better.

The choice of “Gladiator” is absolutely terrifying from a military perspective. It would have been better if he chose Frodo Baggins from “Lord of the Rings.” And as I typed that, I realized that Frodo does, in fact, lead an insurgency in the often overlooked last chapters of “The Return of the King.” Holy shit! I might be on to something there.

Now I am not just calling Franks a moron because he likes cheese-dick Hollywood pulp, and decided to use it to inspire his troops. I am calling him a moron because he was apparently so busy watching Crowe oil up his loin cloth that he forgot to plan Phase IV of the real world conflict he was waging.

Phase IV is ENSURING POSTWAR STABILITY, and it is pretty fucking important! It is what we did for 20 years following WW2 in Germany and Japan, and arguably what we have been doing in Korea since 27 July, 1953!

As supported by documents, the Phase IV of the invasion of Iraq was handed off to exactly one lieutenant colonel in the Pentagon four weeks before the invasion date. I should point out that this isn’t like a colonel from the movies. An 0-5 lieutenant colonel in the Pentagon is the guy generally in charge of making coffee, and the general with only one star is the guy that hits “next” on the power point during briefings.

This shows a deep-seated failure of understanding at all levels to hand what is arguably the most critical phase of the mission off to some inexperienced lackey. And we would pay for it for the next decade, running around in the night playing lethal whack-a-mole with every two-bit jihadi that could buy a bus ticket to Iraq.

While I am dog piling on Franks, I should point out one of the misguided invasion plans was also sanctioned by the White House. See, rather than a robust offensive presence, the invasion would be started by one MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) and one Armored Calvary Regiment. After they secured a toehold, the rest of the invasion force ( i.e. all the heavy armor divisions, mechanized infantry divisions, artillery, cooks, and the band) would steam over from the U.S. and finish the job.

In case you aren’t familiar with a MEUs, it packs almost exactly enough combat power to really get itself into trouble. It has an infantry battalion, four tanks, six artillery pieces, and a tiny little Recon platoon. Total combat strength is about 2,500 Marines, 1000 of which, at most, are actual war fighters. An ACR (Armored Cavalry Regiment) has 3 infantry battalions in light armored vehicles.

In relative terms, this much force thrown against Iraq is the equivalent of me and my neighbor deciding to take over Boise, Idaho. I am commando ninja of the highest order, but it DOES NOT MATTER in the face of sufficient numbers.

Iraq didn’t have much for top-notch equipment, their main battle tank, the  T-72, went out of style in the 70’s. But they absolutely would have pushed a force that small back into the sea, without question. I don’t care how badass it was. It would have had no chance against the entire Iraqi army no matter how woeful they were trained and equipped.  Numbers matter.  Had this plan been executed, it would have been the most humiliating defeat in this nation’s history, and the chuckleheads in charge — including the Secretary of Defense — blessed this as an acceptable plan.

Now this isn’t a column about Gen. Franks. That just happens to be a story I know well that illustrates the thinking of our flag officers. Despite what you hear, don’t go thinking these are the smartest guys in the room. They’re not. And don’t for a second think they got the job on merit. They didn’t.  Anyone who is wearing stars on their shoulder in this country got the job by being a politician.

The thing that matters most to an officer in the modern era is not a huge success. It is not having a huge mistake happen on your watch. As long as your troops don’t lose a humvee or accidentally shoot a civilian, you are going to be okay. Senior officers treat command time like a game of hot potato. They don’t want to be there, but they need the “time in leadership/command,” so they try to survive that part and run safely back to a staff.

For the part of Gen. Allen, or any other senior officer that survived the Bill Clinton purge back in 1994, they did it only one way. By being the best “yes man” they could possibly be. It is a well-known fact that the best and brightest did not last through the drawdown initiated by Clinton, and most of the cowboys and hard nose fighters got the boot. Much like the current Obama administration is trying to force the real GWOT warfighters out the door as fast as it can. The corporate military doesn’t want hardened veterans, it wants people it can control, and that look good on a parade ground.

So what about our loud mouth Hillary supporter, Gen. John Allen? One thing I can at least say about Franks, he served in Vietnam as a Lieutenant, and he was a forward observer, not a secretary in Saigon. Gen. John Allen is sure vocal that he fought the Taliban, and brought the pain to ISIS. But is that true?

Well, he might have been in charge of Afghanistan, but “fight” is not something he would know anything about. Generals and other senior officers like to play the “I did 7 tours” card often. But for anyone above the rank of major, they might as well have been commanding from Tampa, FL. Senior officers do not go on operations, except an occasional photo op, which is 99.9 percent of the time a hand-picked, very low threat target, in a mostly pacified area.

When we had reporters or generals assigned to our task force, we invariably shifted targeting from Al Queda Prime to local purse snatchers for the night (even though I don’t like him for different reasons, I must point out Gen. Stan McCrystal as an exception to that rule. He made some of my counterparts take him and the sergeant major of the Army to Sadr City, back when that guaranteed a firefight.) The Generals in Iraq lived in no shit palaces, and they were certainly not out humping the desert like all the grunts and SOF guys.

Looking at John Allen’s career, I can tell you this with a certainty. He has NEVER FIRED A SHOT IN ANGER. This is a staff pussy that spent most of his career in ceremonial units like 8th&I in Washington. He did command a rifle company, but not one that ever went to war. And I take personal insult with those gold Navy/ Marine jump wings he is wearing. He got them for serving as the Jump Officer of the Naval Academy, which is the weakest shit I have ever heard. He is out purporting to be Hannibal crossed with King Leonidas, and telling us how Clinton is the only person he trusts with national security from his vast military experience.

But a 19-year-old grunt with half of one tour under his belt knows more about combat than this General ever will. It has also been pointed out by many, Gen. Allen found the time to send 30,000 emails to Paula Broadwell while he was in command of Afghanistan. Maybe he should have been paying attention to the Taliban instead of his dick.

Are all Generals morons? No. But I can count on one hand the number I served under that were not. For every military genius I have ever seen, like Mattis, Peter Pace, and Shelton, we get 10 politicians. It’s a cheap shot for general officers to be endorsing any political candidate in my opinion. iIn a perfect system, they’d be too busy leading to jump into the political fray.

But if Allen wants to play war hero, it is the duty of veterans to step up and shut this chucklehead down. I am calling on veterans everywhere, that served in this war, to swift boat this spineless sack of shit right in the mouth. You don’t get to step up and pretend you are the authority on national security when you spent your entire career covering your own ass. Benghazi, the ransom to Iran, the red line in Syria, the rise of ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood’s siege of Egypt; all that matters in national security. You want to step up and defend the former Secretary of State that set all this in motion, fine. But be prepared to reap what you sow.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 69 comments… add one }
  • Jake November 8, 2016, 6:41 pm

    I agree, broadly, with the idea that Generals should not comment on politics and WAY too many of them are not worth half the salt of a good NCO, even if you do not accurately present the officer career timeline through the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). Battalion commanders (LTCs), and every level below that, were (and are) almost constantly on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least the good ones are. Maybe not as much as company grade officers and their Soldiers, but there were very few days in my three years overseas that my battalion commander was not “outside of the wire.” A couple of other factual exceptions. The plan for 2003 included 4ID (a Mechanized Infantry Division with 5 Tank Battalions and 5 Mech Infantry Battalions) coming from Turkey, but the Turkish government prevented it from using its territory to launch the invasion. Consequently, only the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade (about 1/4 the combat power of 4ID) dropped into northern Iraq as a stopgap. 3ID (same combat power as 4ID) was involved in the initial invasion from the south (the thunder run that definitely involved tanks) and brought significantly more combat power than you outline above. To my knowledge neither of the two Armored Cavalry Regiments got to Iraq until April 2003 (after Baghdad fell). If they had, they they would have brought much more firepower than three light infantry battalions. An ACR had, before they were transitioned to Stryker Brigades in 2008 and 2011, 126 M1A2 Tanks, 129 M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, a Combat Aviation Battalion (Kiowas) and a Paladin 155 mobile artillery battalion. Again, I agree with the broad strokes of your piece, but wanted to make a couple of corrections.

    • clay martin November 9, 2016, 4:46 pm

      correct on the final plan, and 4th ID being denied movement through Turkey. And that is why the 173rd got dropped in up north with 10th GRP and the Peshmerga. But that doesn’t change the fact that the plan I describe was approved, and almost implemented. That it was even a consideration shows a serious lack of tactical reality at the Star Fleet level.

  • John Coppinger November 7, 2016, 10:34 am

    When I first saw this article I did some digging on Allen. Never in action a yes man and a REMF. Most of you in combat will know what that stands for. Rear echelon m f .

  • thejhman1 November 6, 2016, 6:28 am

    We could survive 8 years of Trump or Hillary. But we will not survive the next 30-40 years of a Hillary packed SCOTUS. Rights will become a hollow word, empty of any meaning.

  • SGT-N November 5, 2016, 2:58 pm

    For years, officers and many senior NCO’s have been ticket punchers, not true soldiers. They obtain rank by being politicians instead of soldiers. Ringknockers are the worst. One of them screws up, and their compatriots look the other way. On the other hand, a ROTC grad gets canned if he or she does the same thing! Also, many deserving E-8’s don’t get promoted if they’ve associated themselves too long with the line-doggies. When I saw the commercial with General Jarhead, I could have puked because I knew that he was one those who obviously got rank by playing games. What to bet if the Wicked Witch of the West gets elected, he’ll be first in line to be SecDef!

    PS: When the 7th ACR and the 2nd ACR where in Germany during the Cold War, they were almost brigades armed to the hilt with M-1 Abrams tanks, M-2 Calvary Squad Vehicles, arty, etc. It’s sad that they tore the concept apart to the point it was impotent.

  • Paul Graziano November 5, 2016, 12:25 pm

    This article is spot on. I would like to add that Franks’ invasion plan was tailored to meet Sec Def Rumsfeld’s desire to “test” his Brigade size mobility concept and that is what led to our force’s unpreparedness for the insurgency that followed. The concept worked well enough on the battlefield but there was now way such a small force could deal with the mass insurgency that should have been anticipated would happen.
    What should have happened was a massive infusion of American, and maybe Coalition of forces to secure every major city in Iraq and to seal off the border with Syria – every mile of it. That decision to mobilize and deploy the needed forces, including calling up the Reserves, would have mostly been a political one. It seems Franks and the Joint Chiefs had at least considered it, but because of the stiff spine fortitude it would require was surely lacking, as your thesis suggests, the easier decision to not stand up to Runsfeld prevailed. Generals are supposed to threatened to resign when their civilian masters insist on stupidity to exert the pressure needed to get them to reconsider the error of their ways. This hasn’t happened since the MG Singlaub did it when Pres Carter decided to remove all troops from the Korean Peninsula. Political generals would never consider such a courageous move. Their eyes are two focused on winning the next coveted promotion than on winning the war.

  • Tom Horn November 5, 2016, 6:54 am

    As it goes in the military, so it goes in civilian life.

    How many of us have worked for bosses that couldn’t get a clue, if it bit ’em on the snout. Nepotism, cronyism, suck-butt-ery, politics, and affluence seem to trump genius and merit every time. Do we send our finest minds to Washington, D.C.? I think not.

    To quote, William Munny, before he shoots, Little Bill, “Deserves got nothing to do with it.”

  • Will Drider November 5, 2016, 2:55 am

    A lot of personal opinion and bitterness for someone you only researched. In your hurry to slander you can’t even get the alleged “other womans” name right or the journalistic fairness (you are one right?) to say the investigation generated no charges or repremands. Your list of MEU assets is a bit lightand ommitted all air assets too. There was some humor and truth about D.C Staff jobs, Your major mistake is comparing your grunt mission of fighting to Staff Planning all facets of a War. By your own arguements, Trump has Zero experience and even hitlery has some (bad) exposure. You are commenting on a big world while looking through a peep hole. You may well be a duty expert in your dog patch but a few mouse clicks does not make you the great Oz in judgement of others. They are your opinions, your welcome to them. The same goes for Allen’s. It been some time since Allen served yet like all politically driven slander: you decide to voice your opinion of Allen only after he endorsed hitlery.
    Trump says he has 30 Flag level officers that support him. Do you think they were loved by every service person under their Commands? Probably a few snakes in their wood piles too.

    Just as Allen is not the only General you are not the only Green Beret but its listed in your by line often. Your not politician for a aire of credibility are you? On your bio, resume and letter of introduction. So its not just brass or Retired brass that use it to their advantage.

    I’ll end here and hope it provides what I intended when consumed.
    Respectfully submitted,
    //s// Basic Rifleman,
    Pvt – CWO4, USMC (Ret)
    Bush – Sand Box

    • clay martin November 5, 2016, 10:29 am

      10 Harriers and a couple of Cobras don’t add up to much air power in the grand scheme of things.

    • Alan November 7, 2016, 10:57 pm

      Please get your terminology correct, if printed it’s Libel, NOT Slander.
      So he Libeled the little shit. Boo Hoo.

  • Josh November 5, 2016, 12:11 am

    Yeah, these douche canoe generals are more worried about how we look than how to fight. They’re so wrapped up in politics and “leading” without actually accomplishing anything (vision and all that bullshit), they forget to get dirty and kick the shit out of the enemy. Perhaps they enjoy the buffet line in the White House, or don’t want to take responsibility for the full speed hero who occasionally takes a piss on a dead Taliban terrorist, but they’ve lost their way in college and gone far left. The military has gone politically correct, and they abstain from being around the real men who curse and fight on the front lines. After its all done, we even go home and get our rocks off, assuming those jack wagons haven’t left us for dead.

    • clay martin November 5, 2016, 10:26 am

      well said. and the fact that pissing on a dead Taliban member, an organization that is KNOWN for beheading prisoners, was even an issue tells you how weak and soft we have become as a nation.

  • Kevin November 4, 2016, 8:13 pm

    I’m voting for Trump…not because I like him, but because I despise the Clinton’s and everything that they represent and that become the hallmark of this once great country.
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how any of us vote (a rant for another day) – but if elected by popular vote, I’d much rather have Trump – who is who he is – as opposed to HRC, who is truly the epitome of a crooked politician. The scandals just won’t stop and everyone associated with her is no different. Her followers fall into 2 simple categories – Minions or Butt Weasels. There is nothing in between. We don’t know what we don’t know about the Clintons – other than there seems to be no bottom as to how deep the lies and deception go with them. What I do know is that I don’t want them or anyone associated with them leading our country.
    As for the liberal Democrats, their hypocrisy is astounding. If there is anyone that is intolerant of those with opposing views, it’s them and the emails that have been leaked clearly show that.
    Personally, I’d love to see a REAL woman be elected as President – I think a real woman and mother’s sense of fairness and right could do wonders for our country – but I’m not so stupidly desperate for it to happen that I’d settle for HRC to be the one. It’s ironic that the Democrats already made the same mistake on Obama, and yet are ready to do it again on HRC. The Office of President has already been shamed by both of those and I personally hope to see it rise back to it’s proper place in the world during my life time.
    In a perfect world, we’d be able to actually elect a candidate that had been vetted prior to standing up before the country… a candidate that truly wanted to make America great – not just make history, or a bigger bank account. The reality is that one of those 2 are going to win next week. Trump, like him or not – is the lesser of those 2 evils.
    Clay’s article was spot on. It is a perfect example of what is fundamentally wrong with our country and what you and I have allowed to happen. Why? Because we have grown to tolerate immorality, injustice and assaults against our religion and personal liberties. Because we are eternally optimistic and sadly, because we have become complacent.
    I believe though that our patience as a country for this crap is growing thin. I know personally that mine is.
    Thanks Clay for spitting in the face of the PC crowd and saying the hard things – and thanks for your service.

  • Ronald Gonshorowski November 4, 2016, 4:42 pm

    I will state only one point. I was in IV Corp in Vietnam and left that sort of pacified area about two weeks before John Kerry showed up for his 3 months of duty. It was not required that I carry my M-16 most days except when on guard duty. I am still trying to figure out how he was able to get wounded twice in the ass, maybe he was running away.

    • clay martin November 5, 2016, 10:27 am

      lol. love it. valid points my good man.

  • Gunny November 4, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Ah yes we in the Corps have had our shitheads . Allen no rank intended is a boot licking politician. A real Marine, no way says this retired Gunnery Sergeant. I saw so much politics and careerism when I was in to gag a maggot! Personal integrity is lacking to say the least. Leaders, we haven’t had real leaders since WW2 and Korea and even then history show us if you didn’t play politics you got to go home. It has only gotten worse. Our military is loaded with yes men and oh yeah women. Chesty Puller roll over in your grave! Marines will know the Puller comment.

  • Gunny November 4, 2016, 4:19 pm

    Ah yes we in the Corps have had our shitheads . Allen no rank intended is a boot licking politician. A real Marine, no way says this retired Gunnery Sergeant. I saw so much politics and careerism when I was in to gag a maggot! Personal integrity is lacking to say the least. Leaders, we haven’t had real leaders since WW2 and Korea and even then history show us if you didn’t play politics you got to go home. It has only gotten worse. Our military is loaded with yes men and oh yeah women. Chesty Puller roll over in your grave! Marines will know the Puller comment.

  • Observer November 4, 2016, 3:48 pm

    Clay- First and foremost, good article. I generally agree with you (pun intended). However, yourself and some others here have spoken disparagingly about a fine man, Stanley himself. I need to ask, on what basis is he a bad leader? He may be a bad conventional forces general, and that\’s ok, But goddamn if he was one of only TWO flag officers I trusted ( ADM McRaven being the other). I worked indirectly for both of them when they lead an organization based at Bragg. And both of them cared greatly about prosecuting the war as best as possible. Now, my focus was very limited to the CT side of both wars, and maybe that\’s where the difference in opinion lies. We all know that stars have to play the game. and if you remember, Stan payed the price for expressing a truly honest opinion ONCE. I will stop praising big Stan now.Anyways, I haven\’t watched the video yet, but I bet it will make me wanna stomp his guts out. If there is one thing even these toolbag oxygen-stealers should have learned, it is to stay out of civilian politics. Nothing good ever comes of it. Granted, if he were full on supporting anyone other than Hillary, I wouldn\’t hate him as much. Maybe.Lastly, as for the French, yes their gov\’t and public opinion are all sorts of f*cked up. But slowly, ever so slowly, they are starting to wake up. It only took since 1789 for them to do so.Keep shooting brother…..

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 5:41 pm

      Stan put the handcuffs on EVERYONE once he was in charge of Afghanistan. Now that may have been WH directed, but he still went along with it. Not exactly an illustrious end to his career. That may have been why he fell on his sword with the Rolling Stone.

  • Gabriel November 4, 2016, 3:21 pm

    How many years or when did Trump serve in the military? exactly ZERO and NEVER.

    • DRAINO November 4, 2016, 5:16 pm

      …..And he would still be a better commander in chief and is more respectable than Hitlary…..hands down. We see who YOU are voting for. No one here is under any illusions about what DT is or is not. This election is much more serious than that. If you can’t see that… another country to live in…..because you have no business voting in this country.

    • Irish-7 November 5, 2016, 12:32 am

      How many American military personnel did Trump have killed” Exactly ZERO and NEVER. Of the Clinton body count, 26 were US Servicemembers.

  • Chemiker November 4, 2016, 1:28 pm

    As a vet (1960s), I concur with my retired USAF officer brother: Before you can get your bird, you must have a lobotomy.

    • DRAINO November 4, 2016, 5:57 pm

      The same are my observations from 20+ years in the USAF. Same requirements seemed to go for many Chief’s(E-9’s) as well.

    • Tom Horn November 5, 2016, 7:26 am

      Case ‘n’ point: Lieutenant Colonel, George Armstrong Custer (last in class of 1862,West Point).

      • Will Drider November 6, 2016, 1:18 am

        History shows Custer’s ego directly contributed to his final and fatal failure. Maybe another choice is more appropriate. Lol

  • Paul November 4, 2016, 1:17 pm

    One minor correction: An ACR circa 2003 was still under the old mTOE. That is, it didn’t have infantry battalions. It had 3 ground cav squadrons, 1 air cav squadron and a support squadron, and attached specialty companies (at the time an ADA battery, MI co, Chem co and Engineer co). The ground cav squadrons had their own organic artillery battery, a company of tanks and 3 ground cavalry troops (which each had a 3 platoons of M2 equipped Bradleys and a platoon of tanks). That is a lot of firepower, more than enough to take care of Iraqi armor units. But your point stands in that it doesn’t have a lot of combat density, and certainly not enough for occupational duties.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 1:42 pm

      thanks for the input brother. I was hoping someone would step up that actually knew about the depth of an ACR. And the point still stands- not near enough to take on all the Iraqi armored divisions we ended up having to crush, by itself.

  • Myles MacDonald November 4, 2016, 1:13 pm

    While I sympathize with many of the writer’s comments, there’s nothing in the article that argues or even suggests that Donald Trump is smarter than any of the generals. The mismanagement of “winning the peace” in Iraq is squarely that of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and their bosses, the Shrub administration. The signed off on the administration of a defeated country as the 7th priority for Franks’ command (and worked like hell to push the responsibility to the State Department), much as Ashcroft, with his bosses concurrence, removed counter-terrorism from the DoJ’s priorities in early 2001.
    I get the writer’s point about career progression skills. I left the army as a Captain (Armor) in 1983 after 4 years service in Germany in the heaviest tank brigade in the army (3 armor, one mech inf battalions) because I couldn’t spend a career in fatigues, with troops, despite a great start (tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader, S3AIR, S1/adjutant). With less than a year in the Army, I trained my crew to outshoot all but one of 162 crews in the brigade and my platoon to outshoot all of the other 26 platoon. Our CSM had a field day with that (how could a butterbar beat every staff sergeant?).
    As a point of clarification, I believe only the 2nd ACR had converted to a “light” organization by 2003. 3rd ACR was still heavy with M3, M1s, and organic 155mm artillery and scout and attack helicopters – one of the great organizational/equipment achievements in the history of warfare. If you doubt it, go read up on the Battle of 73 Easting in the 1st Gulf War. I presume the writer is not naming H.R. McMasters as a stupid general.
    I believe Mr. Trump might have a better chance of winning were he running for President, not dictator. His narcissism and vindictiveness suggest he might be our Caligula, if elected.

    At the time of the invasion in 2003

    • DRAINO November 4, 2016, 5:25 pm

      …And Hitlary isn’t vindictive or narcissistic???? Wow!!! Where area you getting this impression from? Numerous SS and FBI agents don’t hate this woman for no reason. What planet are you living on?

  • patch November 4, 2016, 1:08 pm

    semper fi from another E5

  • Zach November 4, 2016, 11:32 am

    The proof is in the pudding.These generals haven’t won a war in 60 years.We took Omaha Beach in 6 hours. They can’t take Mosul in 6 weeks!Trump went to military school for 4 years. Maybe he does have a clue

  • perlcat November 4, 2016, 10:50 am

    Enjoyed the article, certainly thought-provoking. However, I sensed you were holding back just a little bit, Clay. By the way, on the “pro-woman” thing — every time those morons try to say that Trump did X, I have to ask them — if Hillary is so “pro-woman”, why’d she head something called a “Bimbo eruption war room” during her husband’s presidency? Just as an FYI — in Clintonspeak, a “bimbo” is a “discarded rape victim” — not somebody that should be threatened and abused. I think that’s far more “anti woman” than a bunch of lib hacks who came up with rape accusations 30 years afterwards, when they thought they could cash in. If it was so traumatic, how come they waited until the presidential run?

  • Tripwire November 4, 2016, 10:26 am

    Clay hit this nail dead center, and the sad thing is so damn few people have a clue about the things he wrote about, Hell I’ve always believed they murdered Patton because he scared the hell out of the pansy’s in DC and the REMF’s in the Army.
    I will be voting for Trump and as for those of you who insist on voting for Klinton I would point out that we now have more enemies Domestic then Foreign. Sleep well in your chains.
    My idea of the perfect GOP team was Judge Andrew Napolitono and Condie Rice.

  • Eddie B November 4, 2016, 10:26 am

    Right on target

  • David November 4, 2016, 10:15 am

    Truly a great article except why you gotta be messing with my home town man. I went to Iraq twice. Once early and once really late. Scary how things were run. Going from AO to AO and not being allowed to use the 50 cause it might go through the mud huts. No MK19 we don’t wanna be the bad guys.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 10:48 am

      lol. Of all the spots in Idaho though, Boise would have the best chance of success 🙂 I love this state, but Boise is like the San Francisco of the Northwest. I cannot believe how blue the capital is.

      I remember seeing 4th ID in 06, and the moron in charge of them made them keep the 50 in the trunk of the humvee because it ” looked menacing”. No shit dickhead, that is the point! We have had some sad hours in this war, all forced by limp dick senior officers without a clue about combat.

  • JD November 4, 2016, 9:33 am

    Yup. The militay’s best people usually get out before reaching O-6 (colonel). After that, the vast majority are panty-waste, yes-man politicians whose every decision is based on how to make themselves look good in order to achieve the next rank. In the meantime, they pick out the best ass-kissing douches they can find to surround them and groom as replacements. The cycle continues.

  • Mike November 4, 2016, 9:23 am

    Who is this mouth breathing retard? Never heard of him, then again don’t recall many helos with gold collars, save a few, ever hitching a ride out to a cop where the real fights were, one firefight a day was an easy day. Wonder if this assclown was wearing a top hat with obamanation back in 08 and didn’t hop a lawn dart ride for dumb grunts votes because Sadr was heating up again and didn’t want to mess their pretty clothes when a whisp crack came. Nicely laid out brother, well eloqueted and displayed……once again who is this motard? Oh yeah and screw McCrystal,A LMOST as bad as General “don’t shoot the VBID” Betrayus. Just my thoughts.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 10:42 am

      totally with you brother. I mostly don’t like McCrystal because he turned into a bitch after he was in charge. He was good in his early career, but he clearly sold the fuck out for his stars.

  • Dewey November 4, 2016, 9:22 am

    I like how you managed to sneak in some French-bashing. It’s not like they had anything to do with American winning its independence from England or something crazy like that. Oh wait, they did.

    • John November 4, 2016, 10:24 am

      Yeah, but then WWII happened. I don’t think we owe France anything at this point.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 10:44 am

      I am with John on this one. They may yet find their balls though, they are cracking down pretty hard on the muslims they let almost over run Paris.

  • flintman50 November 4, 2016, 8:59 am

    Thanks Clay for introducing some reality….All that aside, the only issue that has eternal consequences is that of pro-life…If you vote for Hillary, you’re voting for a baby-killer…..she’s a sick puppy

  • Tacticalmedic69 November 4, 2016, 8:51 am

    Nicely presented by one who is a former member of the finest warriors this country produces.
    Back in the day, the Team Leaders (officers) were discouraged from staying as it wouldn’t be as helpful for their careers as a staff assignment. Ticket punched with all boxes checked. Even more so as with this present administration.
    De Oppresso Liber, ODA 565

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 9:27 am

      When I was a Marine, I thought a great strength of SF would be that it was a career branch, which meant we got our own Generals. After I was in SF, I realized what a bad idea that actually was.

      • Douglas November 4, 2016, 2:42 pm

        “Once a Marine always a Marine”, quoted from Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

  • Big John November 4, 2016, 8:51 am

    Great read…you redeemed yourself from that ill advised gunplumbing misadventures from earlier in the week…glad to have you back!!! Next time you feel like stepping into the Bravo world I suggest you submit a 45-slide ConOp to some of your favorite crayon eaters for approval.

    Now lets ruck up, go to the polls and drive this witch back to the trailer park in Arkansas where she belongs. She can bring John Allen with her to keep her company till the Feds come to upgrade her accomidations.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 9:25 am

      well said my good man. I think last week we all learned a lesson about why we have a team, and staying in our lanes.

      Hell, at this point I just want to elect Trump to see if Huma will turns states evidence when it is clear a pardon is off the table. I bet she knows where a couple of bodies are buried.

  • Patrick Gannon November 4, 2016, 8:24 am

    Great story. This sounds a lot like everything that Col. David Hackworth said about the army for years. All of these “Generals” are nothing but political hacks that could not lead a group of migrant workers to an orange grove. Is it true there are more Generals now than at any time in WWII ? I sure hope that DT gets some good advice on these matters, but I get the feeling he can spot an ass kissing idiot a mile away.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 9:30 am

      As of April 2011, there were 964 general and flag officers. By comparison, at the end of the Cold War the U.S. had 1,017 general and flag officers. Thus, there has only been a nominal decrease in general and flag officers even though the number of active duty uniformed personnel has decreased by roughly 28%, the Air Force flies 35% fewer planes, and the Navy has 46% fewer ships in its fleet. In sum, the number of general and flag officers has barely fallen despite double-digit percentage drops in the size of the forces they command.

  • Jack D November 4, 2016, 7:59 am

    I disagree with the author on voting for Trump. The women in my family would skin me alive if I did that. Whatever happened to family values that the Republicans, Conservatives and Religious right have shoved down our throat for so long? I guess those were not values those were conveniences to be used when need and discard when they got to be a problem. Who you vote for is your decision and I am not by any measure telling not to vote for the douche bag called Trump. I am not voting for him.

    • Patrick Gannon November 4, 2016, 8:50 am

      Really? I guess the women in your family approve of all the shit Bill Clinton has done to MANY women with HRC’s tacit approval. That is about as stupid as it gets, grow a pair and think for yourself. Your vote is your decision—and I’m not telling you not to vote for the most prolific LIAR in US political history!

    • Doc wilcox November 4, 2016, 8:55 am

      VOTE FOR TRUMP. You are a fool to worry about women’s opinions when you are seeing the USA crumble before you. Stand aside son, us men want to keep the watch against all enemies, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC. CRAWL BACK TO MOMMY, She will protect you.

      • DRAINO November 4, 2016, 10:51 am

        I would have to think long and hard about any relationship with ANY woman that tells me to vote for Hillary. Sorry….it is what it is. If they want to vote for a woman who bashed and destroyed other women who Bill was guilty of assaulting/raping…..That’s a woman I don’t trust or want much to do with. PERIOD. It’s not a political thing….it’s a moral thing.

    • RCinTX November 4, 2016, 9:17 am

      Jack D lets get real, the Republican party has NEVER cared about the “family values” they propose as you say, to shove down our throats, during election cycles. That was just a scripted polemic designed to get the social conservatives to the pols on election day, as opposed to going bowling. Note that even when they controlled both branches, nothing on the “social conservative” which list got done.

      What these political geniuses missed is that they were alienating all sorts of single issue voters – marriage equality (did anybody really care?), over ruling Roe Wade (last time I checked even the daughters of rich white Republicans get knocked up my the occasional basket ball player. Oh yes, let’s keep that war of pot smokers revved up.

      A vote for anyone other then Trump (or no-vote like the suicidal social conservatives often propose) is a vote for Hillary and vote to turn whats left of America into a third world shit hole. Not a worry for the coastal elites, but the death of our Nation for the rest of us.

      You say you cant vote for Trump because the women of your family would “skin you alive.” Don’t be a Cuckservative, man up and vote for the only candidate who might restore an America in which you and yours can live out your ideal.

    • jah November 4, 2016, 9:28 am

      Out of curiosity, which branch of the service did you serve in?

      • clay martin November 4, 2016, 10:45 am

        I was in the USMC and the Army at different times.

    • Alan November 4, 2016, 9:41 am

      That’s because you live in a vacuum of the ideal on a perfect world.
      Like so many, you believe in a world of righteous men and women in positions of power, the fools paradox.
      No one of normal ego would seek such an office, where one has power, but whose life is NOT their own, and whose decisions will be criticized and scrutinized at every turn.
      Only power mongers of the highest order seek such office. No normal person would.
      So your ideals are of no consequence, nor are your beliefs.
      The only thing that matters when casting your vote is how much influence you and your Party will have over this person.
      You have none with Hillary. No vote is a vote for her. A vote for ANY OTHER Party is a vote for her, they haven’t the influence.
      You have SOME small degree of influence with Trump.
      It has ALWAYS been a choice of the lesser of two evils, as only power mongers and evil people bide for such power and influence.
      Trump, for all his B.S., is a businessman. Businesses NOT directly affiliated with the Govt. NEED a working middle class to flourish, period.
      Hillary see’s the middle class as a threat, just as Stalin did.
      So, what will you be? A fool in crises, or an intelligent human who recognizes that perfection does NOT exist in man or his machinations?

      • luis November 4, 2016, 10:51 am

        I not kiss both. and not Hillary more fervent admired . You are wrong. If every single one ho disagree with are president
        we go to orchestra a cup. May gunners. Every day war. WE are educates persons. Think first. You wanted a boss like Donald Trump. when he can paid the casino mortgage orchestra one big default laundry money. Result him kill hes manager. Stollen 1 Billion. And never paid a single dollar back.

        • Patrick Gannon November 4, 2016, 1:18 pm

          I’m not sure if you are a troll trying to stir the pot, or just have some problems with written English. Killary voted for the war if you remember, and she said she was broke., in fact she and her family are multi millionaires on the backs of the working people. Why does she own 75k shares of stock in Putin’s energy company? As far as “killing” the manager–have you noticed how many people have died suddenly after crossing paths with HRC? Trump can NOT be bought, that is why everyone in power hates him. He has the ability to make decisions without checking with his political contributors first. I’ll take my chances on DT.

    • Chuck Matson November 4, 2016, 10:13 am

      Go back to your ellen re-runs jack d!

    • larry November 4, 2016, 10:37 am

      I can appreciate that, if you\’re not voting for HRC.If you are, you have zero morals or ethics and are a hypocrite.

  • Roger Franco November 4, 2016, 7:53 am

    Clay, you have nailed it. What you have described seems to be a cancer that has not only inundated the military but corporate America as well. He, (or she), that kisses the best ass wins. Experience doesn’t seem to matter. The military is just like any other organization, one big clique. The problem with any great leader, is that they can’t say yes when they mean no. Leaders should be elected by their peers, and subordinates, not higher ups that are just looking for another butt boy.
    The powers that be have messed up the phase four portion of the whole Mid-East campaign that it makes the prolonged involvement in Viet Nam look like a short war tutorial. So how do we fix it? Do we keep on sacrificing boys and girls until we attain “peace with honor”, (which could take generations), or do we pull everything out and see who ends up top dog, and then go in and kick their ass. once and for all.? I think that most true Americans would like to hear a warrior’s perspective. God Bless you, son. And thank you for your service to our once great country.

  • Mark Beall November 4, 2016, 7:29 am

    Mr. Martin hits the nail squarely on the head, he is correct, many of our top Generals got there not because they were battle hardened or experienced, no many of them got there being the best politician the could be. I would like to see more articles by this guy.

  • Charles R Manley November 4, 2016, 7:23 am

    Just looking at all his fruit salad lets me know he was a REMF of the first order. Nobody collects that many ribbons without being very, very political.

  • Charles R Manley November 4, 2016, 7:22 am

    Just looking at all his fruit salad lets me know he was a REMF of the first order. Nobody collects that many ribbons without being very, very political.

    • clay martin November 4, 2016, 8:56 am


  • Red November 4, 2016, 7:00 am

    Thanks for another great read Clay. Every word exactly right. The military became a nasty little petri dish for social experimentation on my watch. Actual warfighters with the right skills and mindset have always been there trying to survive a corrupt system and putting it out there for the mission, but they are becoming a minority. Stinks that giving voice to reality while wearing the boots tends to end in making sand out of big yellow rocks in Kansas. Too bad there isn’t a USARB for field grade types.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend