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The Quality of Command

The Wrong Way and the Right Way to Make Better Generals

Author: Robert H. Scales
November/December 2012
Foreign Affairs

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The argument of Thomas Ricks' new book, The Generals, is simple: since the end of World War II, the combat performance of the U.S. Army has been subpar, primarily because the highest-ranking generals have been reluctant to fire underperforming generals lower in the chain of command. The fear of being relieved of duty in wartime, Ricks contends, drives military leaders to act boldly, flexibly, and creatively.

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