Ethical Assessment Up and Down the Civilian–Military Chain of Command

Authored by: Paul D. Eaton

Routledge Handbook of Military Ethics

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415743686
eBook ISBN: 9781315813516
Adobe ISBN: 9781317801771


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Many members of the U.S. Army were extremely unhappy with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s treatment of General John Shinseki. 1 I was not among those critics, at first. When Mr. Rumsfeld first took office, I was a fan. I liked what he was trying to do. I liked the idea of the lean infantryman, equipped with technology, going forward to fight the American war. I thought the poster child for this idea—a man from the Army Reserves unit from Parksdale, Louisiana, on horseback in Afghanistan calling in airstrikes from B-52s—was a pretty good idea, worth exploring. 2 That honeymoon phase eroded over time, as we saw a failure on the part of the Secretary to adapt to the environment we were in. What happened next began in the middle of March 2006.

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