Another scandal, even more important, was revealed by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Duty. Obama ordered an intensification of our effort in Afghanistan, while admitting privately that he expected it to fail. Approximately 80% of the fatalities our military has suffered in Afghanistan have taken place on Obama’s watch, not because he was pursuing a strategy that he sincerely believed to be in America’s interest, but because he cynically calculated that sending Americans to die in a useless campaign (as he assessed it) would benefit him politically. This is a scandal approximately a billion times more newsworthy than the Christie administration’s closing a lane on a bridge.So, exactly how many of those who knew of this "cynical calculation" resigned rather than be a part of this debacle?
I suspect that the answer is somewhere less than 1.
Maxim LXXII. A general-in-chief has no right to shelter his mistakes in war under cover of his sovereign, or of a minister, when these are both distant from the scene of operation, and must consequently be either ill informed or wholly ignorant of the actual state of things.So, yeah, we all know about politicians and political calculations. What do we know about our generals and other leadership who could have put a stop to this abuse by a timely and public resignation?
Hence it follows, that every general is culpable who undertakes the execution of a plan which he considers faulty. It is his duty to represent his reasons, to insist upon a change of plan--in short, to give in his resignation rather than allow himself to be made the instrument of his army's ruin. Every general-in-chief who fights a battle in consequence of superior orders, with the certainty of losing it, is equally blamable.
In this last-mentioned case, the general ought to refuse obedience; because a blind obedience is due only to a military command given by a superior present on the spot at the moment of action. Being in possession of the real state of things, the superior has it then in his power to afford the necessary explainations to the person who executes his orders.
But supposing a general-in-chief to receive a positive order from his sovereign, directing him to fight a battle, with the further injunction, to yield to his adversary, and allow himself to be defeated -- ought he to obey it? No. If the general should be able to comprehend the meaning or utility of such an order, he should execute it; otherwise, he should refuse to obey it.