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Thursday, January 6, 2011

THE REMOVAL OF US 172 BRIGADE COMMANDER


What exactly is command potential ?

Major Agha H Amin (Retired)

 Having served in the army this could have been a case of personality clash also !  Many a times a man of conviction is sacked and labelled as not having command qualities ! This is quite common in the military !  Exactly what is command potential ! Being a goodyes man with general Batschelet !

I have seen the US soldier in Afghanistan and I sympathise with him because he is led by hole punchers well described in Crisis in Command!

The same process in Pakistan Army as I saw it , a conspiracy against originality and boldness , i have described in detail with concrete historical evidence in my article which may be read by clicking on the link below:--

http://pakistan-army-interviews.blogspot.com/2010/12/assessmentmilitary-training-and.html







Terms like command potential etc are twistable and pliable ! After all Colonel T.N Dupuy in his book Genius for war did prove that one German soldier was equal to three US soldiers because the German organisation was better ! They had a healthy tradition of Auftragsatkiks and a more vibrant officer corps .






Martin Van Creveld a professor teaching at an Israeli university also reached the same conclusion as Dupuy when he wrote Fighting Power  !




In Crisis in Command two US officers Gabriel and Savage reached the conclusion that US Army was plagued by a serious disease of apple polishing , sycophancy and hole punching ! I dont think it has come out of it since Crisis in Command was written !



The authors thus agreed that the real fighting material in Vietnam were sidelined while the staff types who hole punched came up.

Certainly US Army today is far inferior to the US Army in Vietnam in intangible military virtues thanks to characters like Rumsfeld who were proponents of privatising defense !


Rather reliance on private contractors has severelt eroded the Clausewitzian military virtue of the US Army ! Thus we have a US Ambassador in Afghanistan who is a lobbyist for 27,000 over paid private American and British security guards ! The whole US Congress appears to have been bought by the private security companies !

One thing is clear ! The US Army needs some Christian values ! It lacks that burning ideological nationalism of theWehrmacht and the Red Army though !

An army will not fight if its political leadership is lobbying for the wall street or for KBR or Global Security !

In 1994 my commanding officer an outstanding man was retired prematurely with the same label that he lacked command qualities because he had defied his seniors over a matter of principle !


Agha H Amin
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Army Relieves 172nd Infantry Brigade Commander
January 05, 2011
Stars and Stripes |by Seth Robson
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany -- The Army has relieved the commander of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, shortly before the unit intensifies its training for an Afghanistan deployment this summer.
Acting V Corps commander Brig. Gen. Allen W. Batschelet said Tuesday that Col. Frank Zachar was relieved of command on Monday, "… due to loss of confidence in his ability to command."
Batschelet said there was no specific incident that led the Army to relieve Zachar.
"There weren't any illegal, immoral or unethical activities," he said. "His [Zachar's] leadership style wasn't really effective and over time the command here lost confidence in his ability to command."
Attempts to reach Zachar on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.
The 172nd, which has roughly 3,500 personnel, is based in Grafenwöhr and Schweinfurt, Germany.

Zachar, who took command of the 172nd in May, served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Before joining the 172nd, he attended the Army War College, according to the brigade's website.

"He's going to be reassigned commensurate with his abilities and rank," Batschelet said of Zachar's future.

The 172nd's top enlisted Soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert French, will also be reassigned as a result of the decision to relieve Zachar, Batschelet said. The 172nd's website lists Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick K. Akuna as the unit's interim command sergeant major.
The 172nd is also without a deputy commander since the last officer to hold that position, Lt. Col. Jamie Gough, recently moved to another assignment. 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, commander Lt. Col. Christopher Cardoni has been appointed interim brigade commander until a new leader is appointed, Batschelet said.

"The Army will identify and provide a new brigade commander as expeditiously as it can," he said.

The loss of the brigade's commander will not adversely affect the unit's preparation for the Afghan mission. The 172nd has a training plan that is similar to those followed by other brigades that have deployed, he said.
"I have full confidence in the Soldiers and leaders who are inside that formation," Batschelet said. "The unit will be prepared for its impending deployment."

  This article is provided courtesy of Stars and Stripes, which got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War, and has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are now on assignment in the Middle East.

Stars and Stripes has one of the widest distribution ranges of any newspaper in the world. Between the Pacific and European editions, Stars and Stripes services over 50 countries where there are bases, posts, service members, ships, or embassies.