A US Army colonel who published a splendid attack on top-heavy bureaucracy and PowerPoint culture at NATO's top headquarters in Afghanistan has been sacked.
Colonel Lawrence Sellin, in his critique of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC), suggested that the IJC exists primarily "to provide some general a three-star command", and that it will soon be enlarged because "an officer, who is currently without one, needs a staff of 35 people to create a big splash before his promotion board".
Sellin's article said that NATO staff officers in Afghanistan do little else but prepare and sit through "inane" and "useless" PowerPoint briefings and meetings. "Cognitively challenged generals", he wrote, listen to the PowerPoint presentations "in a semi-comatose state".
"I have not done anything productive" in two months' service at the IJC, he added.
Reportedly there was a good deal of support for Colonel Sellin's views among middle-ranking officers at the headquarters such as majors and lieutenant-colonels (junior officers and enlisted personnel are seldom seen in such places). Other colonels were less sympathetic.
"I have marks all over me from where they have been touching me with ten-foot poles," he told Wired.
We here on the Reg defence desk believe that the US Army and NATO in general could use more officers like Colonel Sellin - though much fewer officers overall. But that's exactly what the IJC won't be getting.
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