The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military

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“West Point stands as the gateway to military service and potential leadership. A long line of distinguished generals have attended the famed academy. However, as the glory of past victories has dimmed, the declining qualities of its education and values have tainted the legacy of the institution.

As the stalemate of Korea and the loss in Vietnam lingered, the lessons that should have been learned were too quickly forgotten. The futility of fighting an ideological/civil war didn’t resonate. The importance of counterinsurgency was dismissed as the subject disappeared from classrooms. The power of the bombastic general and his proclamations overtook strategy, style over substance. Dissent or even slight disagreement is verboten, leading to the exclusion of valuable opinions in battle.

West Point is not the sole target of scrutiny in this book, as the US Air Force and Navy face criticism for downplaying misbehavior and criminal activity by their men and women. There is a disturbing tendency to disregard sexual assaults and even war crimes. The problems stem from the top down, a system that may be irreparably broken, unless changes come soon.

The Cost of Loyalty strikes hard at the military establishment. The author’s condemnation of the idea of loyalty above all else is not without stark examples. The author has been a target of reprisals for espousing contrary views, yet a steely resolve led him to fight. The power of persuasion is present throughout this work.”


Reviewed By:

Author Tim Bakken
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date 2020-02-18
ISBN 9781632868985
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2020
Category Current Events & Politics
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