A Need For Frank Discussion

by LtCol G. I. Wilson

The letter from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (MCG, Oct91) was refreshing and gives a valuable perspective regarding the “eclipse” of the Joint Chiefs. Both Col Gordon D. Batcheller and Gen Colin Powell have the courage to put their views in writing. This is commendable. The Corps frequently mutes candid difference to accommodate that which is politically acceptable and maintains the status quo.

Indeed, it is heartening to see the Chairman respond to Col Batcheller’s article. We need more of this. All too often senior officers are quick to disagree but unwilling to put their position in writing. Others would do well to follow the lead of Gen Powell and Col Batcheller.

Real professionals can have professional differences. Regrettably, it is the bureaucracy’s milicrats who take it personally, opting to make lightening rods out of those who have the courage and intellectual honesty to be heard.