2013] BOOK REVIEWS 281
BLEEDING TALENT: HOW THE U.S. MILITARY
MISMANAGES GREAT LEADERS AND WHY IT’S TIME
FOR A REVOLUTION1
REVIEWED BY MAJOR JOSEF DASKAL*
Public services are never better performed than when
their reward comes only in consequence of their being
performed, and is proportioned to the diligence
employed in performing them.2
On January 17, 2001, in his farewell address, exiting Secretary of
Defense William S. Cohen shared with the audience the answer he had
given when asked by foreign leaders how their military could be more
like America’s. It’s not just rigorous training, advanced technology, and
revolutionary tactics, he explained, “We have the finest military on Earth
because we have the finest people on Earth, because we recruit and we
retain the best that America has to offer.”3
In Bleeding Talent, Dr. Tim Kane offers a different view of the
American military. He proposes that the military indeed recruits the best
America has to offer4 and turns them into great leaders,5 but fails so
badly at retaining them that it should serve as a “cautionary tale” for
other organizations. 6
Ten years and two wars after Cohen’s speech, when it was Secretary
of Defense Robert S. Gates’s turn to bid the troops farewell, he expressed
* Israel Defense Forces. Student, 62nd Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course, The
Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, U.S. Army, Charlottesville,
1 TIM KANE, BLEEDING TALENT: HOW THE US MILITARY MISMANAGES GREAT LEADERS
AND WHY IT’S TIME FOR A REVOLUTION (2012).
2 2 ADAM SMITH, AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF
NATIONS bk. 5, ch. 1, pt. 2, 211 (Edwin Canna ed., Methuen & Co.1904) (1776),
available at http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/sm WN.html.
3 William S. Cohen, Sec’y of Def., Remarks as Delivered at Fort Myer, Virginia (Jan.
17, 2001), available at http://www. defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=320.
4 KANE, supra note 1, at 7, 37–41.
5 Id. at 43–51.
6 Id. at 25, 85–107.