Evokes LBJ’s micromanaging of Vietnam war theater
WASHINGTON – Two retired U.S. generals have blasted a reported plan for President Obama to assert “personal control” over the selection of ISIS targets in Syria.
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin said the prospect recalls the Johnson administration’s micro-managing of the war theater in Vietnam, when decisions made from Washington often resulted in selecting the wrong targets.
Boykin, an under secretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush, said that while Obama’s reported decision to make all the bombing calls of ISIS targets in Syria were reminiscent of Vietnam, President Lyndon Johnson “at least had some military experience.”
Boykin pointed out Obama has never served in the military.
“[Obama] is absolutely not serious about strategy or destroying ISIS,” Boykin said. “There is no way we can destroy ISIS with the strategy he’s laid out, and it’s more problematic if he selects the targets.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Obama said he would exert “a high degree of personal control” over military strategy against ISIS in Syria in an effort to avoid getting too involved in the country’s three-year-old-plus civil war.
In testimony on Capitol Hill, however, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel insisted the report was “not true.”
Nevertheless, Hagel’s denial didn’t stop the two retired generals from expressing concern over Obama’s overall strategy for defeating ISIS.
Vallely believes Obama should resign.
“He has no capability of leading this country at this time,” he said.
‘No clue what to hit’
Vallely, who was deputy commanding general of U.S. Pacific Command, is an author along with retired USAF Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney of the book “Endgame: The Blueprint for
Victory in the War on Terror.”
“[Obama] wouldn’t have a clue what targets to hit,” Vallely said. “Go back to Vietnam when (Defense Secretary Robert) McNamara was calling the targets.”
Before he died, McNamara apologized in a book for his role in conducting the Vietnam conflict, noted Vallely.
Vallely said he had met with a number of pilots who had conducted bombings over Vietnam who said “you couldn’t believe what they wanted us to hit rather than hard targets.” One such target, he said, was a bamboo bridge rather than a steel bridge that was in use nearby.