Sunday, October 25, 2009

NATO's Biggest Fan? Not so Much

I spent much of the non-driving time this weekend reading General (ret.) Rick Hillier's autobiography. I am about 2/3's of the way through, just at the start of his time as Commander of ISAF in Afghanistan in 2004. His reputation for being outspoken is well deserved in this book. Hillier was not a fan of the United Nations in the Balkans in the early 90's and has a pretty harsh view of NATO in Afghanistan.

He asserts that NATO had no strategy when he took command of ISAF, which is pretty problematic. To exacerbate things, his immediate boss was German General Gerhard Back, who Hillier suggests was a micromanager:

"He told me it was his job to ensure I knew how to obey orders, and I told him that as soon as I received some intelligent ones, I would."
Oh my! I am eager to get to the part of the book where he recounts his days as head of the Canadian Forces.

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