AirTalk for April 18, 2013

Should Generals and Admirals face review by subordinates?

Army recruits perform exercises as part of a demonstration for tourists in front of the military-recruiting station in New York's Times Square.

Mark Lennihan/AP

Army recruits perform exercises as part of a demonstration for tourists in front of the military-recruiting station in New York's Times Square.

If one thing is undeniable about the U.S. military, it's the power of hierarchy. If a brigadier general tells a full-bird colonel to jump, the only answer is "how high?" But as part of an effort to reform the training of top military brass -- generals and admirals, specifically -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has put into effect a review system similar to that used on much of corporate America to root out some of the recent scandalous behavior of high-ranking military officers. This will include taking into account the opinions of lower-ranking soldiers and sailors about how their boss does his/her job.

Should the military adopt the way of corporate America? Is the political correctness enforced by HR review processes useful in a military constantly engaged in bloody conflict?

Guests:
Tom Ricks, Senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security; contributing editor to Foreign Policy magazine; author of “The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today” (Penguin Press, 2012)

Jeffrey Addicott, Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas; he's a retired Army Lt. Colonel.


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