Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
- Jan 26, 2000
Well, looks like my vote gets to cancel out Shelton's. I was going to save it for Bush, but I am sure someone else will do that
Similar, but depends on your perspective. From what I remember (this all occured the year before I retired), General Clark "supposedly" lobbied Clinton directly without approval. What I believe General Shelton implies, re: integrity and character issues, is that General Clark circumvented the chain of command. Additionally, there was talk about General Clark playing Tony Blair and Bill Clinton against each other on matters concerning the campaign. "Supposedly", General Clark was unofficially relieved as SACEUR because of his backroom dealings. Instead of an embarrassing, formal relief-for-cause coming down from DA, General Clark announced his retirement.
examples? Usually the DoD and the Pentagon do not agree on much so if they do Agree on that it is saying something. I'd like to know more about this guy. Saw him on the Today show seemed ok but a lil aloof.Lets put it this way, those in the Pentagon, and DoD in the mid-late 1990s today do not like Clark.
Clark is no dove himself. He is an activist and an interventionist. As the general in charge of planning for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the mid-?90s, he had argued, in vain, to send U.S. troops into Africa to stop the genocide in Rwanda. As chief of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe during the 1999 Balkan war, he pushed to send ground troops into Kosovo. Neither President Bill Clinton nor the top brass at the Pentagon had any stomach to see body bags come home. The Army chief of staff, Gen. Dennis Reimer, resisted Clark?s urging to use Apache helicopters against the Serbs. The large, low-flying craft were too vulnerable to shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles, Reimer insisted. When Clark persisted by talking to reporters and trying to run a back channel to the White House and State Department, Defense Secretary William Cohen was furious. General Shelton, chairman of the JCS, delivered Cohen?s message to Clark: ?Get your f?king face off of TV.?
The firing of Clark was an act of vicious bureaucratic jujitsu. In the summer of 1999, when Clark was still basking in the glow of victory in Kosovo, General Shelton abruptly informed him that he was being relieved of command?ostensibly to make room for Gen. Joseph Ralston, a favored four-star whose political rise had been stunted by a long-ago scandalous romantic liaison. Knowing that Clark would instantly try to appeal right up to the Oval Office, the Pentagon brass leaked the story to The Washington Post and made sure that top officials were ?unavailable? when Clark began frantically calling in the middle of the night.
It was a shabby way to get rid of Clark, who had skillfully fought a difficult two-front war?against the Serbs and his own superiors in Washington. For the most part, Clark?s tireless diplomacy had worked to bring together the 19 NATO countries over Kosovo. But Clark?s battles, especially with his own commanders, were often strident and messy and too public, conducted over a videoconferencing system with a wide audience (that leaked to reporters).
Some of the resentment against Clark is just plain jealousy. More-plodding officers dislike ?fast burners? like Clark. It should be noted that Clark commanded the loyalty of many of his subordinates as an officer in the field in the ?70s and ?80s. By the sheer force of his personality and high expectations, he was able to turn around Army units that had drug problems, poor morale and racial divisions.