Today is the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Europe, and it reminds me of something Dwight Eisenhower did then that would never happen today.
Eisenhower was the supreme allied commander in Europe, responsible for the planning and execution of the invasion. This clearly was the pivotal moment of the war in Europe–if the invasion failed, the Russians would probably have been knocked out of the war and the Nazis would have solidified their grip on Europe.
The night before the invasion, Eisenhower wrote a brief statement he was going to issue if the invasion failed. In the statement (which, of course, was never issued) he accepted full responsibility for the failure of the mission.
Can you image that happening today? Can you image the ass covering that would take place if a similar enterprise failed today? Instead of commanders, we now have committees. Add to that micro-managing by the White House and second-guessing by Congress, and it’s not surprising few people know who our military leaders are today but many can recall the names of the major commanders of World War II.