Posted by: Christian | August 28, 2010

Colonel Sellin fired for saying what everybody was thinking

A couple of days ago I blogged about US Army Colonel Lawrence Sellin. He wrote a brutally honest op-ed about the lack of productive work being done at the top-heavy ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan (IJC). And it now seems that he has been fired for publishing the op-ed. Spencer Ackerman has done a write-up on Sellin’s firing at Danger Room:

Sellin says he tried to send constructive criticism up the chain before he typed out his UPI piece. He gave his superiors a briefing on “proven organizational methodologies” to streamline IJC, but it went nowhere. “It was only my rant that everyone read,” he says. “My hope is that after they stop being angry at me, maybe they will take a serious look at how they operate.” […]

Apparently, not everyone at IJC was as gracious as Sellin’s boss when the op-ed began to circulate. Sellin says that a two-star general — whom he declines to name — told him “I was a coward, unpatriotic, ignorant, petty and that he had no respect for me.” Sellin gauges that lieutenant colonels and lower-ranked officers support him, as do a few colonels.

From what I’ve been hearing off the record, there are more than a few people in (or recently in) the US military that don’t believe Sellin is a “coward,” nor do they believe is he “ignorant” or “unpatriotic.” But they do seem to agree with Sellin’s assessment of the US military bureaucracy.


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