The Best Defense

What's up with Gen. Huntoon: Nailed on a penny ante charge of personal favors

I am told this about the misconducted West Point superintendent, Lt. Gen. David Huntoon. Apparently there was an investigation of his relationship with a woman he brought in as director of strategic communications, whose influence was resented by some faculty members. But the Army keeps on stonewalling and saying only that he was cleared on that -- but won't drop the other shoe and provide information on the misconduct charge that the DOD IG did substantiate.

So what was he nailed on? I asked someone in the know. He told me this:

In the end, all they got him for was, he offered to take care of her cats....[But] the chief of staff wound up doing it. He had to buy cat food. So, after all the investigating, all they got him on was coercing a subordinate to do personal favors.... It's ironic because Huntoon has been all about the ‘image' of West Point.

Tom again: A bigger concern to me -- and to some civilians at West Point -- is the effect that the image campaign has had on the academic freedom of faculty members. I asked about that, and the person I was talking to said, "I think it's fair to say, there is concern that we cannot speak freely. We get messages all the time: ‘Don't talk about this.' There's a lot of concern about image."

A little transparency here would go a long way. But apparently the Army cares more about the feelings of its generals than about informing the people who pay its bills.


The Best Defense

Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week: NoKo unleashes its military dogs

By Rebecca Frankel

Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

Amidst the more comical propaganda intended to intimidate coming out of North Korea this week was this video of the country's military dogs.

Unless these dogs are high on methamphetamines, the footage has clearly been manipulated, sped up as they launch over walls and through half-lit rings of fire moving at herculean speeds. As the handlers shout and make angry gestures, the dogs pounce on paper likenesses of South Korea's defense minister, Kim Kwan-jin (NoKo's "Enemy No. 1"). Tactically speaking, these dogs -- of which there appear to be only five or six -- have all the precision and training of a rabid mob. I suppose that might be frightening in its own right, but it would be a mistake to assume a military dog is a super threat just because he/she is savage. The really "dangerous" dogs are the ones who are impeccably controlled by their handlers.

So, who should be afraid of North Korea's war dogs? Probably no one.

I sent the clip over to a career dog handler over at the USAF Academy, Kennel Master Chris Jakubin, who after viewing the footage of NoKo's dogs attacking stuffed mannequins said it had the intimidating power of a Benny Hill skit. All it needs, he said, is the music.