Command Failure

James D. Villa, former commander of the 372nd MP Company, has an provocative op-ed in today’s WaPo expressing his disgust with his former unit’s abuses at Abu Ghraib. The money ‘graph:

Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, commander of the 800th MP Brigade, which ran the prison, has spent most of the past week on television telling the same story: that she never knew about this, that her MPs were working for military intelligence people, that she was not to blame. Had she spent as much time leading her troops as she apparently has preparing for appearances on MSNBC (with her lawyer in tow), the Army might have stemmed these incidents early on. I was taught in ROTC that a leader is responsible for what his or her unit does or fails to do. I was also taught that a leader takes responsibility for his or her soldiers. Either by commission or omission, Karpinski and her chain of command have failed those soldiers in her brigade and, ultimately, this country.

Indeed.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.