Colonel Lawrence Sellin: Man fired for his sniping will not go quietly
A senior officer in General David Petraeus's support staff, who was fired for publicly criticising the US military's "PowerPoint culture", has issued a fresh broadside against what he says is a bloated, ineffective bureaucracy at America's headquarters in Afghanistan.
Colonel Lawrence Sellin was fired from his role after he wrote a column attacking the system for using relentless slide-show presentations to "cognitively challenged" generals instead of formulating coherent policy.
Col Sellin, a 61-year-old army reservist, said he had no regrets about his action and that others at the main base of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul congratulated him for speaking out. "I am not sorry at all. I think there are a lot of people who feel this way even on Petraeus's own staff," he told Army Times. "Colonels came up to me and shook hands and said 'you were right'."
He said the article was an attempt to challenge the conduct of the war after he grew disillusioned with his role. "I had added no value to the war effort," he said. He had emailed his superiors suggesting ways to improve the headquarters' efficiency, but to no avail.
Soon afterwards Col Sellin, who had also served in Iraq, wrote an article for the United Press International agency, saying: "For headquarters staff, war consists largely of the endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information."
Nato officials in Kabul dispute the account given by Col Sellin, who had been in Afghanistan for less than two months. Col Hans Bush, a spokesman in Kabul, said: " His comments do not reflect the reality of the work done every day. His duty position and responsibilities did not offer him the situational awareness needed to validate his postings to the media." The US Army stated that Col Sellin had broken rules governing the making of public statements.
Shortly before the article came out, Col Sellin says in the Army Times interview, a supervisor told him it was clear he was unhappy and that he should "go home". His second article "sealed [his] fate".
Col Sellin is returning to his family in Finland, where he is an international defence contractor. "Throughout my career I have walked a fine line between good taste and unemployment," he said.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...