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In defence of Dannatt

Richard Dannatt was right to speak out about the British presence in Iraq. We need more candour from our military leaders, not less

By Lewis Page   November 2006

The most desirable quality in a soldier is loyalty. Skill at arms, leadership, intelligence, all are useless—even dangerous—if their possessor is not true to his salt. Still, only a handful of countries have managed to place their military leaders firmly under civilian direction, and even among that happy group the principle is sometimes quite recent. French generals, for instance, plotted to overthrow their government less than 50 years ago. In most nations, the process has scarcely begun. For a majority of the human race, political power still grows from the barrel of a gun.

Against this background, it is possible…

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