„If a soldier would command an army he must be prepared to withstand those who would criticize the manner in which he leads that army. There is no place in a democratic state for the attitude which would elevate each military hero above public reproach simply because he did the job he has been trained and is paid to do.“

—  Omar Bradley, A Soldier's Story (1951), p. xi.
Omar Bradley photo
Omar Bradley2
1893 - 1981

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Lucian Truscott photo

„The American soldier demonstrated that, properly equipped, trained and led, he has no superior among all the armies of the world.“

—  Lucian Truscott Recipient of the Purple Heart medal 1895 - 1965
Quoted in Command Missions, A Personal Story, New York, 1954, ISBN 0-89141-364-2

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Theodore Roosevelt photo

„I am certain that the only permanently safe attitude for this country as regards national preparedness for self-defense is along its lines of universal service on the Swiss model. Switzerland is the most democratic of nations. Its army is the most democratic army in the world. There isn't a touch of militarism or aggressiveness about Switzerland. It has been found as a matter of actual practical experience in Switzerland that the universal military training has made a very marked increase in social efficiency and in the ability of the man thus trained to do well for himself in industry. The man who has received the training is a better citizen, is more self-respecting, more orderly, better able to hold his own, and more willing to respect the rights of others and at the same time he is a more valuable and better paid man in his business.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919
1910s, Address to the Knights of Columbus (1915), Context: I am certain that the only permanently safe attitude for this country as regards national preparedness for self-defense is along its lines of universal service on the Swiss model. Switzerland is the most democratic of nations. Its army is the most democratic army in the world. There isn't a touch of militarism or aggressiveness about Switzerland. It has been found as a matter of actual practical experience in Switzerland that the universal military training has made a very marked increase in social efficiency and in the ability of the man thus trained to do well for himself in industry. The man who has received the training is a better citizen, is more self-respecting, more orderly, better able to hold his own, and more willing to respect the rights of others and at the same time he is a more valuable and better paid man in his business. We need that the navy and the army should be greatly increased and that their efficiency as units and in the aggregate should be increased to an even greater degree than their numbers. An adequate regular reserve should be established. Economy should be insisted on, and first of all in the abolition of useless army posts and navy yards. The National Guard should be supervised and controlled by the Federal War Department. Training camps such as at Plattsburg should be provided on a nation-wide basis and the government should pay the expenses. Foreign-born as well as native-born citizens should be brought together in those camps; and each man at the camp should take the oath of allegiance as unreservedly and unqualifiedly as the men of its regular army and navy now take it. Not only should battleships, battle cruisers, submarines, ample coast and field artillery be provided and a greater ammunition supply system, but there should be a utilization of those engaged in such professions as the ownership and management of motor cars, in aviation, and in the profession of engineering. Map-making and road improvement should be attended to, and, as I have already said, the railroads brought into intimate touch with the War Department. Moreover, the government should deal with conservation of all necessary war supplies such as mine products, potash, oil lands, and the like. Furthermore, all munition plants should be carefully surveyed with special reference to their geographic distribution and for the possibility of increased munition and supply factories. Finally, remember that the men must be sedulously trained in peace to use this material or we shall merely prepare our ships, guns, and products as gifts to the enemy. All of these things should be done in any event, but let us never forget that the most important of all things is to introduce universal military service. But let me repeat that this preparedness against war must be based upon efficiency and justice in the handling of ourselves in time of peace. If belligerent governments, while we are not hostile to them but merely neutral, strive nevertheless to make of this nation many nations, each hostile to the others and none of them loyal to the central government, then it may be accepted as certain that they would do far worse to us in time of war. If they encourage strikes and sabotage in our munition plants while we are neutral, it may be accepted as axiomatic that they would do far worse to us if we were hostile. It is our duty from the standpoint of self-defense to secure the complete Americanization of our people, to make of the many peoples of this country a united nation, one in speech and feeling, and all, so far as possible, sharers in the best that each has brought to our shores.

Ernest King photo
Richard Holbrooke photo

„Our meeting with Admiral Leighton Smith, on the other hand, did not go well. He had been in charge of the NATO air strikes in August and September [1995], and this gave him enormous credibility, especially with the Bosnian Serbs. Smith was also the beneficiary of a skillful public relations effort that cast him as the savior of Bosnia. In a long profile, Newsweek had called him "a complex warrior and civilizer, a latter-day George C. Marshall." This was quite a journalistic stretch, given the fact that Smith considered the civilian aspects of the task beneath him and not his job - quite the opposite of what General Marshall stood for.
After a distinguished thirty-three-year Navy career, including almost three hundred combat missions in Vietnam, Smith was well qualified for his original post as commander of NATO's southern forces and Commander in Chief of all U. S. naval forces in Europe. But he was the wrong man for his additional assignment as IFOR commander, which was the result of two bureaucratic compromises, one with the French, the other with the American military. General Joulwan rightly wanted the sixty thousand IFOR soldiers to have as their commanding officer an Army general trained in the use of ground forces. But Paris insisted that if Joulwan named a separate Bosnia commander, it would have to be a Frenchman. This was politically impossible for the United States; thus, the Franh objections left only one way to preserve an American chain of command - to give the job to Admiral Smith, who joked that he was now known as "General" Smith. (…)
On the military goals of Dayton, he was fine; his plans for separating the forces along the line we had drawn in Dayton and protecting his forces were first-rate. But he was hostile to any suggestions that IFOR help implement any nonmilitary portion of the agreement. This, he said repeatedly, was not his job.
Based on Shalikashvili's statement at White House meetings, Christopher and I had assumed that the IFOR commander would use his authority to do substancially more than he was obligated to do. The meeting with Smith shattered that hope. Smith and his British deputy, General Michael Walker, made clear that they intended to take a minimalist approach to all aspects of implementation other than force protection. Smith signaled this in his first extensive public statement to the Bosnian people, during a live call-in program on Pale Television - an odd choice for his first local media appearance. During the program, he answered a question in a manner that dangerously narrowed his own authority. He later told Newsweek about it with a curious pride: "One of the questions I was asked was, "Admiral, is it true that IFOR is going to arrest Serbs in the Serb suburbs of Sarajevo?" I said, "Absolutely not, I don't have the authority to arrest anybody"."“

—  Richard Holbrooke American diplomat 1941 - 2010
1990s, To End a War (1998), This was an inaccurate way to describe IFOR's mandate. It was true IFOR was not supposed to make routine arrests of ordinary citizens. But IFOR had the authority to arrest indicted war criminals, and could also detain anyone who posed a threat to its forces. Knowing what the question meant, Smith had sent an unfortunate signal of reassurance to Karadzic - over his own network. p.327-329

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Dugald Stewart photo

„Every man has some peculiar train of thought which he falls back upon when he is alone. This, to a great degree, moulds the man.“

—  Dugald Stewart Scottish philosopher and mathematician 1753 - 1828
Dugald Stewart; reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 581

Yasuji Okamura photo

„Yasuji Okamura, commander of the Japanese forces in China, had this to say about the Chinese Nationalist Army: "The center of resistance was neither the four hundred million Chinese civilians, nor the two million-strong ragtag army composed of local troops. Instead, it was the Central Army, led by the young officers of the Whampoa Military Academy, with Chiang Kai-shek at its nucleus. In numerous major battles, the Central Army not only was the main force engaged in combat, but also oversaw the local troops who were increasingly losing the will to fight. The Central Army kept the local troops from wavering. As seen, training by Whampoa was thorough, and it was impossible to resolve the China Incident peacefully with the existence of such an army.“

—  Yasuji Okamura Japanese general 1884 - 1966
Source:《大本营陆军部.上》519页 Translated from Chinese text: 侵华日军司令官冈村宁次在1939年对国军抗日的评论,他说:"看来敌军抗日力量的中心不在于四亿中国民众,也不是以各类杂牌军混合而成的二百万军队,乃是以蒋介石为核心、以黄埔军校青年军官阶层为主体的中央军。在历次会战中,它不仅是主要的战斗原动力,同时还严厉监督着逐渐丧失战斗力意志而徘徊犹豫的地方杂牌军,使之不致离去而步调一致,因此不可忽视其威力。黄埔军校教育之彻底,由此可见......有此军队存在,要想和平解决事变,无异是缘木求鱼" (摘自《大本营陆军部.上》519页)。

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