19 September 2010

On Leadership


The heavy-handed tactics of Colonel Michael Steele, the commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division in northern Iraq, were viewed by some as a contributing factor to the Iron Triangle Murders in 2006.  

Today, a dispatch from Charlie Simpson suggests that the same might be true in a recent string of alleged murders in Afghanistan.  Simpson accuses the commander of the brigade in question (the 5th Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division) of establishing a "savage command climate" in Afghanistan, attributing the alleged murders directly to the command climate.

It's a short, but damning piece, to say the least.           

Focus:  In what ways have you seen your command positively or negatively set "the tone" in Iraq or Afghanistan?  

3 comments:

swordfish1543 said...

Yes! Whether in corporate culture, college sports, or the military, DISCIPLINE begins at the top!
"There is only one type of discipline, perfect discipline."
[Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.]
WITH discipline, all is possible.
WITHOUT discipline, sadly, ALL is possible.
Abu Ghraib & this latest tawdry tale result from COMMAND INTENT and LACK OF DISCIPLINE.
Easy to diagnose, difficult to cure.

RobtCE said...

I think a case could be made that Iraq between 2004 and 2007 is an example of a failure of leadership (in this case the Bush Administration) to set the tone trickling down to the tactical level.

With no over-arching objective or solid end-state (remember the constantly changing goal-posts), the primary focus of the warfighter on the ground was surviving his 12 months. Predictbalty, this lead to both timidity and over-reaction.

Though I still don't know if anyone has presented a compelling vision of an end state in Iraq or Afghanistan, the introduction of COIN at least gave commanders and warfighters a yardstick which could be used at the theater level and below to measure progress in a limited war.

Now this is only an example and I don't feel that lack of a comprehensive national strategy caused the actions of the 5th SBCT Soldiers.

Anonymous said...

Check the poor performance of 5/2SBCT at the NTC when the Sr. Division trainer, the Division Cdr, and the NTC Cmdr voiced their concerns about the leadership abilities of the SBCT Cmdr---and that was prior to deployment.

Check the Ink Spots report concerning 5/2SBCT and you WONDER about the influence of BCT Leadership on the lower Staff and personnel?