Military Leader Quotes
I was an idealist in my profession. If I used such expression as 'Jewish bastard' or 'Jewish sow,' it simply meant that this official language had become so much a part of my flesh and blood that I saw nothing unusual in it. I never used anything but spiritual weapons in dealing with offenders.
The bomb will not start a chain-reaction in the water converting it all to gas and letting all the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom. It will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole. It will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me, exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim.
Serious research and development efforts are required to produce technologies, strategies, organizations, and trained personnel who can go into failed states, work with our allies and friends, and promote the political and economic reforms that will meet popular needs and reduce the sources of terrorism and conflict.
It is paltry philosophy if in the old-fashioned way one lays down rules and principles in total disregard of moral values. As soon as these appear one regards them as exceptions, which gives them a certain scientific status, and thus makes them into rules. Or again one may appeal to genius, which is above all rules; which amounts to admitting that rules are not only made for idiots, but are idiotic in themselves.
And the fellow died as well as he lived, but it is part of a sailor's life to die well. He had no talk, but he inspired all about him with ardor; he always saw the best thing to be done; he knew the best way to do it; and he had no more dodge in him than the mainmast.
Of Captain James Lawrence, who died in the action between U.S.S. Chesapeake and H.M.S. Shannon
I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous.
I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.