WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, a US Congress report revealed that Central Command (CENTCOM) distorted intelligence to present a positive outlook of anti-Daesh efforts in Iraq and Syria.
“We have encountered the readiness of ambitious colonels and generals to ‘cook’ analyses of all kinds since the early 1960s, not just intelligence,” retired US Army Colonel and historian Douglas Macgregor told Sputnik. “When the truth is ugly, only a lie can be beautiful. It’s that simple.”
Ever since US Army Chief of Staff General George Decker, who tried to warn against the United States getting involved with Vietnam in the 1960s, was dismissed, US Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and service chiefs have consistently told their political masters whatever they wanted to hear, Macgregor stated.
“The tradition has been upheld since by a series of equally politicized and sycophantic Chairmen and Chiefs.”
As a result, top generals have colluded with US presidents to cover up major policy failures, Macgregor explained.
“Whenever the White House feels the need to compensate for failed policies and strategy, presidents and their administrations pressure the military’s senior leadership to provide good news [and] to spin the story,” Macgregor said.
Macgregor praised late Soviet Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov for trying to warn the Soviet leadership about the military difficulties of intervening in Afghanistan in 1979.
“Decker’s warning is reminiscent of Marshal Ogarkov’s later warning to the Politburo regarding Afghanistan.”
A recent example of the pattern was the exaggerated claims of success for General David Petraeus’s counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq a decade ago, Petraeus’s policies in reality consolidated Iranian control of Iraq and set the stage for a regional Sunni-Shia war, Macgregor maintained.
However, “That was of little concern to the Surge architects or to the Bush White House. What the White House wanted was relief from the criticism and clear sailing for the next presidential election… In the long-run, it proved disastrous,” Macgregor concluded.
California State University Professor Emeritus of Political Science Beau Grosscup agreed with Macgregor that the practice of encouraging the presentation and manipulation of false intelligence at the highest US policymaking levels went back to Vietnam.
“This is just the latest example of a longstanding tradition of massaging ‘intelligence’ to serve National Security State interests,” Grosscup said.
Since the Vietnam War, Grosscup concluded, the Pentagon has been hugely successful at monopolizing the reporting of combat events.
Doug Macgregor holds a doctoral degree in international relations from the US Military Academy at West Point. He commanded in the Battle of 73 Easting, a decisive tank fight during the 1991 Gulf War.