Royal Military Academy Lecturer Knows His Stuff!
[Intel Source: ThreatsWatch] Some other milblogs have covered this already, but I just couldn't resist piling on. In a letter to the Canadian National Post, Kristian C. Gustafson, identified as a "senior lecturer, Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England", wrote about his dislike of General Tommy Franks, who commanded CENTCOM during Afghanistan and the first part of the Iraqi War. Here's what he says:
"... It should come as no surprise that General Tommy Franks was at least partly responsible for the failure of the U.S. to establish stability in post-war Iraq. This is because 2003 was not the first time that General Franks botched a military operation in Iraq.
"In 1991, Franks was the general officer commanding VII Corps in the First Gulf War. There he quickly proved not only to be well beyond his own competence level, but also overly cautious and lacking in initiative. With their start time for the ground war brought forward by 18 hours because of the lack of significant Iraqi resistance, Franks stopped his modern, night-vision-equipped army at nightfall, for fear of counterattack. Yet the Iraq army -- which had been bombed continuously for 30 days -- was not only immobile, but it also had no night capability. Upon learning of this ridiculous and timorous order (and so the loss of precious time), General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Colin Powell had to be persuaded not to sack Franks on the spot to replace him with a more capable officer..."
All very interesting, until you realize one thing: General Tommy Franks was involved in Desert Storm, but as ADC of the 1st Cavalry Division; VII Corps was commanded by General Fred Franks, who's no relation to Gen. Tommy Franks. This pretty much makes Gustafson's point rather moot, as the Brits might say. (Based on the title of a book he wrote, "CIA Machinations in Chile in 1970", it appears that he might not have much of a problem looking for any reason to try to put down Yanks.)
Still, if this guy gets confused by two General Franks, it must be even worse for him with all the Kings and Dukes with similar names when he teaches British military history at Sandhurst. I can see it now: "While King George had some serious problems with the American Revolution, we see he more than redeemed himself by his stalwart leadership of Great Britain during WWII."