As sad as it is, and trust me this is the ultimate BlueFalcon by a leader (especially a leader like the President), but I am not surprised. Also as sad is that even though it is April Fools Day, this is no joke.
So as an experienced and combat-proven leader is about to move out into retirement, his boss is just blaming him for one of the boss’s biggest gaffes of all time.
“Early in 2014, Obama’s intelligence advisers told him that ISIS was of marginal importance. According to administration officials, General Lloyd Austin, then the commander of Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, told the White House that the Islamic State was ‘a flash in the pan.’ This analysis led Obama, in an interview with The New Yorker, to describe the constellation of jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria as terrorism’s ‘jayvee team.’”
Of course Gen. Austin is not having any of that and it not going o roll over and let the White House use him as a scapegoat.
Gen. Austin, through his public affairs office at U.S. Central Command, has denied ever making such a remark.
Gen. Austin, in private, has to be pissed but I am sure he is not surprised. In my talks with people at senior levels in the military I can tell you that they are not blind to what is going on.
..as the last four-star general to leave Iraq in December 2011, he had recommended to the White House that more than 20,000 American troops remain in the country because the gains there were reversible.
At the time that Mr. Obama downplayed the Islamic State, then known by a different name, it already had built a large army in Syria and had begun its expansion into Iraq.
Mr. Obama has a track record of shifting blame. For example, when the White House plan to train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State failed, he told an interviewer that he always knew it would not work.
Without a doubt, many, if not all leaders in the military must be looking forward to the day when a leader gets back into office that will lead by example and will show loyalty to his subordinates.
It is just a shame that the civilian community does not see this for what it is. If any good were to come of this, I would hope it is for people to look at this and think “God, I hope I never act like that when I am in charge”.
I am asked many times on leadership and advice I can give to people who are stepping into the role of leadership. What I usually say is there are two types of people who should be your guides for the decisions you make. First are the leaders you looked up to, the ones who you respected, want to emulate and would walk into the gates of hell with.
The others are the ones you despised, and did not demonstrate any facet of what it means to be a leader. The ones that were as anti a leader as you can imagine. These are the ones that when you think about them you think “I can never make a decision or do an act that would be something like they would do”. They are the ones that you would hate yourself if your subordinates looked at you like you looked at them.
Between those two as your waypoints, then you should do ok.