Here is an EXCELLENT story on Wesley Clark's persona:
A Vain, Pompous, Brown-noser
Meet the Real Gen. Clark
Anyone seeking to understand the bloody fiasco of the Serbian war need hardly look further than the
person of the beribboned Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley K. Clark. Politicians and journalists are generally according
him a respectful hearing as he discourses on the "schedule" for the destruction of Serbia, tellingly embracing phrases favored
by military bureaucrats such as "systematic" and "methodical".
The reaction from former army subordinates is very different.
"The poster child for everything that is wrong with the GO (general officer) corps," exclaims
one colonel, who has had occasion to observe Clark in action, citing, among other examples, his command of the 1st Cavalry
Division at Fort Hood from 1992 to 1994.
While Clark's official Pentagon biography proclaims his triumph in "transitioning the Division into
a rapidly deployable force" this officer describes the "1st Horse Division" as "easily the worst division I have ever seen
in 25 years of doing this stuff."
Such strong reactions are common. A major in the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort
Carson, Colorado when Clark was in command there in the early 1980s described him as a man who "regards each and every one
of his subordinates as a potential threat to his career".
While he regards his junior officers with watchful suspicion, he customarily accords the lower ranks
little more than arrogant contempt. A veteran of Clark's tenure at Fort Hood recalls the general's "massive tantrum because
the privates and sergeants and wives in the crowded (canteen) checkout lines didn't jump out of the way fast enough to let
Clark's demeanor to those above is, of course, very different, a mode of behavior that has earned
him rich dividends over the years. Thus, early in 1994, he was a candidate for promotion from two to three star general. Only
one hurdle remained - a war game exercise known as the Battle Command Training Program in which Clark would have to maneuver
his division against an opposing force. The commander of the opposing force, or "OPFOR" was known for the military skill with
which he routinely demolished opponents.
But Clark's patrons on high were determined that no such humiliation should be visited on their favorite.
Prior to the exercise therefore, strict orders came down that the battle should go Clark's way. Accordingly, the OPFOR was
reduced in strength by half, thus enabling Clark, despite deploying tactics of signal ineptitude, to triumph. His third star
came down a few weeks later.
Battle exercises and war games are of course meant to test the fighting skills of commanders and
troops. The army's most important venue for such training is the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, where
Clark commanded from October 1989 to October 1991 and where his men derisively nicknamed him "Section Leader Six" for his
At the NTC, army units face a resident OPFOR that has, through constant battle practice coupled with
innovative tactics and close knowledge of the terrain, become adept at routing the visiting "Blue Force" opponents. For Clark,
this naturally posed a problem. Not only were his men using unconventional tactics, they were also humiliating Blue Force
generals who might nurture resentment against the NTC commander and thus discommode his career at some future date. To the
disgust of the junior OPFOR officers Clark therefore frequently fought to lose, sending his men on suicidal attacks in order
that the Blue Forces should go home happy and owing debts of gratitude to their obliging foe.
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Left to Right: Hashim Thaci, UCK (KLA) leader; Bernard Kouchner, UN Administrator of Kosovo; Gen. Sir Michael Jackson,
KFOR Commander; Agim Ceku, Commander of KPC; Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO Commander. [source
For those in the audience who did not have a flier, I began to explain the picture which showed General Clark in a congratulatory
handshake with Hashim Thaci, leader of the KLA, which under the noses of KFOR had murdered or ethnically cleansed thousands
of Kosovo Serbs and had destroyed more Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries than were destroyed in 500 years under
the Ottoman Empire. Next to Thaci was Bernard Kouchner, Chief U.N. administrator in Kosovo, British General Sir Michael Jackson,
and Agim Ceku, who commanded the Croatian Army in "Operation Storm" that ethnically cleansed 250,000 Serbs from Krajina and
murdered thousands and who now commands the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), the thinly disguised successor to the KLA. It should
be noted that the KLA, with whom we allied ourselves, at one time was designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist
organization. Of course, this is the same KLA about whom Senator Joe Lieberman said: "The United States of America and the
Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same values and principles . . . Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and
American values." (Washington Post, Apr.28, 1999). Clark at Borders bookstore, Pentagon Center Mall, 17 Jul 2001 by Colonel George Jatras, USAF (Ret.)
David H. Hackworth
April 20, 1999
CLARK AND VIETNAM.
NATO's Wesley Clark is not the Iron Duke, nor is he Stormin' Norman. Unlike Wellington and Schwarzkopf, Clark's not a muddy
boots soldier. He's a military politician, without the right stuff to produce victory over Serbia.
Known by those who've served with him as the "Ultimate Perfumed Prince," he's far more comfortable in a drawing room discussing
political theories than hunkering down in the trenches where bullets fly and soldiers die. An intellectual in warrior's gear.
A saying attributed to General George Patton was that it took 10 years with troops alone before an officer knew how to empty
a bucket of spit As a serving soldier with 33 years of active duty under his pistol belt, Clark's commanded combat units --
rifle platoon to tank division - for only seven years. The rest of his career's been spent as an aide, an executive, a student
and teacher and a staff weenie.
Very much like generals Maxwell Taylor and William Westmoreland, the architect and carpenter of the Vietnam disaster, Clark
was earmarked and then groomed early in his career for big things. At West Point he graduated No. 1 in his class, and even
though the Vietnam War was raging and chewing up lieutenants faster than a machine gun can spit death, he was seconded to
Oxford for two years of contemplating instead of to the trenches to lead a platoon.
A year after graduating Oxford, he was sent to Vietnam, where, as a combat leader for several months, he was bloodied and
muddied. Unlike most of his classmates, who did multiple combat tours in the killing fields of Southeast Asia, he spent the
rest of the war sheltered in the ivy towers of West Point or learning power games first hand as a White House fellow.
The war with Serbia has been going full tilt for almost a month and Clark's NATO is like a giant standing on a concrete
pad wielding a sledgehammer crushing Serbian ants. Yet, with all its awesome might, NATO hasn't won a round. Instead, Milosovic
is still calling all the shots from his Belgrade bunker, and all that's left for Clark is to react. Milosevic plays the fiddle
and Clark dances the jig. 'Stormin' Norman or any good infantry sergeant major would have told Clark that conventional air
power alone could never win a war -- it must be accompanied by boots on the ground.
German air power didn't beat Britain. Allied air power didn't beat Germany. More air power than was used against the Japanese
and Germans combined didn't win in Vietnam. Forty three days of pummeling in the open desert where there was no place to hide
didn't KO Saddam. That fight ended only when Schwarzkopf unleashed the steel ground fist he'd carefully positioned before
the first bomb fell.
Doing military things exactly backwards, the scholar general is now, according to a high ranking Pentagon source, in "total
panic mode" as he tries to mass the air and ground forces he finally figured out he needs to win the initiative. Mass is a
principle of war. Clark has violated this rule along with the other eight vital principles. Any mud soldier will tell you
if you don't follow the principles of war you lose.
One of the salient reasons Wellington whipped Napoleon in 1815 at Waterloo is that the Corsican piecemealed his forces.
Clark's done the same thing with his air power. He started with leisurely pinpricks and now is attempting to increase the
pain against an opponent with an almost unlimited threshold. Similar gradualism was one of the reasons for defeat in Vietnam.
Another mistake Clark's made is not knowing his enemy. Taylor and Westmoreland made this same error in Vietnam. Like the
Vietnamese, the Serbs are fanatic warriors who know better than to fight conventionally in open formations. They'll use the
rugged terrain and bomber bad weather to conduct the guerrilla operations they've been preparing for over 50 years.
And they're damn good at partisan warfare. Just ask any German 70 years or older if a fight in Serbia will be another Desert
Storm. It's the smart general who knows when to retreat. If Clark lets pride stand in the way of military judgment, expect
a long and bloody war.
VISIT HACKWORTH'S SITE:
UNDER WESLEY CLARK'S COMMAND, NATO FORCES DELIBERATELY ATTACKED
CIVILIANS IN YUGOSLAVIA:
Deliberately Attacked Civilians In Serbia
by Robert Fisk
Only five days after NATO was
"exonerated" by the International War Crimes Tribunal for its killing of civilians in Yugoslavia last year, Amnesty International
today publishes a blistering attack on the Alliance, accusing it of committing serious violations of the rules of war, unlawful
killings and in the case of the bombing of Serbia's television headquarters a war crime.
The 65-page Amnesty report details a number of mass killings of civilians in NATO raids and states that "civilian
deaths could have been significantly reduced if NATO forces had fully adhered to the rules of war".
Legalistic in nature but damning in content the document reminds readers that Amnesty repeatedly condemned Serb
atrocities against Kosovo Albanians the report highlights inconsistencies and obfuscation by NATO's official spokesmen. Although
NATO told Amnesty that pilots operated under "strict Rules of Engagement", it refused to disclose details of the "rules" or
the principles underlying them. The report says: "They did not answer specific questions Amnesty International raised about
specific incidents ..."
Amnesty records that NATO aircraft flew 10,484 strike missions over Serbia and that Serbian statistics of civilian
deaths in NATO raids range from 400-600 up to 1,500. It specifically condemns NATO for an attack on a bridge at Varvarin on
30 May last year, which killed at least 11 civilians. "NATO forces failed to suspend their attack after it was evident that
they had struck civilians," Amnesty says.
When it attacked convoys of Albanian refugees near Djakovica on 14 April and in Korisa on 13 May, "NATO failed
to take necessary precautions to minimise civilian casualties".
The report says NATO repeatedly gave priority to pilots' safety at the cost of civilian lives. In several investigations
of civilian deaths, Amnesty quotes from reports in The Independent, including an investigation into the bombing of
a hospital at Surdulica on 31 May. The Independent disclosed in November that Serb soldiers were sheltering on the
ground floor of the hospital when it was bombed but that all the casualties were civilian refugees living on the upper floors.
Amnesty says: "If NATO intentionally bombed the hospital complex because it believed it was housing soldiers,
it may well have violated the laws of war. According to Article 50(3) of Protocol 1, [of the Geneva Conventions] 'the presence
within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population
of its civilian character'.
"The hospital complex was clearly a civilian object with a large civilian population, the presence of soldiers
would not have deprived the civilians or the hospital compound of their protected status." Some of Amnesty's harshest criticism
is directed at the 23 April bombing of Serb television headquarters. "General Wesley Clark has stated, 'We knew when we struck
that there would be alternate means of getting the Serb Television. There's no single switch to turn off everything but we
thought it was a good move to strike it, and the political leadership agreed with us.'
"In other words, NATO deliberately attacked a civilian object, killing 16 civilians, for the purpose of disrupting
Serb television broadcasts in the middle of the night for approximately three hours. It is hard to see how this can be consistent
with the rule of proportionality."
On 17 May last year, NATO's secretary general, Javier Solana, wrote to Amnesty in response to its "grave concern"
over the TV bombing, stating that RTS (Serb Radio and Television) facilities "are being used as radio relay stations and transmitters
to support the activities of the ... military and special police forces, and therefore they represent legitimate military
But at a meeting with NATO officials in Brussels early this year Amnesty was informed that Mr Solana's reference
"was to other attacks on RTS infrastructure and not this particular attack on RTS headquarters."
The US Defense Department, Amnesty recalls, justified the television station bombing because it was "a facility
used for propaganda purposes" and Amnesty itself says that Tony Blair "appeared to be hinting [in a subsequent BBC documentary]
that one of the reasons that the station was targeted was because its video footage of the human toll of NATO mistakes ...
was being re-broadcast by Western media outlets and was thereby undermining support for the war within the alliance".
Of the NATO destruction of the train at Gurdulica bridge on 12 April, Amnesty says: "NATO's explanation of the
bombing particularly General Clark's account of the pilot's rationale for continuing the attack after he had hit the train
suggests that the [American] pilot had understood that the mission was to destroy the bridge regardless of the cost in terms
of civilian casualties ..."
The guy who almost started World War III?
The Guardian, Tuesday August 3, 1999:
"I'm not going to start the third world war for you," General Sir Mike Jackson, commander of the international K-For
peacekeeping force, is reported to have told Gen Clark when he refused to accept an order to send assault troops to prevent
Russian troops from taking over the airfield of Kosovo's provincial capital. - Robertson's plum job in a warring Nato
No sooner are we told by Britain's top generals that the Russians played a crucial role in ending the west's war against
Yugoslavia than we learn that if Nato's supreme commander, the American General Wesley Clark, had had his way, British paratroopers
would have stormed Pristina airport threatening to unleash the most frightening crisis with Moscow since the end of the cold
Mary Robinson, the UN human rights commissioner, said Nato's bombing campaign had lost its "moral purpose". Referring to
the cluster bomb attack on residential areas and market in the Serbian town of Nis, she described Nato's range of targets
as "very broad" and "almost unfocused". There were too many mistakes; the bombing of the Serbian television station in Belgrade
- which killed a make-up woman, among others - was "not acceptable". No blood money by Richard Norton-Taylor on the moral confusion of Nato, which refuses compensation to the innocent people it bombed.