Friday, May 6, 2022

Sexual harassment investigations and the Russo-Ukrainian War

Does the headline seem to make a surprising connection? Consider this Heritage Foundation commentary from Lt Gen (R) Thomas W. Spoehr. Excerpt:

We see in the Russian army’s performance in Ukraine an inexplicable slowness and failure to exploit opportunities. Much of the difference between how the Russian and American militaries operate can, in large measure, be attributed to differing levels of trust. Fearful of making the wrong choice, Russian unit commanders typically wait for orders from their superiors. By contrast, American military leaders act, knowing they have the trust of their superiors who will underwrite mistakes made in good faith.

That’s due, in large part, because our officers are exceptionally well trained and have developed outstanding judgment. By the time they are promoted in rank and given the privilege of command, they have made hundreds of thousands of decisions, small and large, that have affected the training, equipping, morale, and careers of thousands of men and women.

By curtailing the authority of commanders—first, to refer charges to trial, and now, in the case of the Navy to merely investigate allegations of sexual harassment—Pentagon leadership is purposefully undermining the authority of commanders to do their job and eroding the trust that must be present for U.S. forces to fight and win.

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