Ricardo Sanchez

United States Army Lieutenant General

Ricardo Sanchez (born 9 September 1953) is a former United States Army officer who was a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate election in 2012 for the seat of retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Action without vision is a nightmare.
The best we can do with this flawed approach is to stave off defeat.
In my profession, these types of leaders would immediately be relieved or court martialed.


  • [The Abu Ghraib prison scandal is] the key reason, the sole reason, that I was forced to retire. I was essentially not offered another position in either a three-star or four-star command.

Reporters and editors luncheon address (2007)

Reporters and editors luncheon address, Washington, D.C., (12 October 2007)
  • Some of you may not believe, but I am glad to be here. When Sig asked me if I would consider addressing you there was no doubt that I should come into the lion's den.
  • I have firmly believed since Desert Shield that it is necessary for the strength of our democracy that the military and the press corps maintain a strong, mutually-respectful and enabling relationship. This continues to be problematic for our country, especially during times of war.
  • The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our servicemen who are at war.
  • My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on T.V., what they read in our newspapers and what they see on the web. For some of you, just like some politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your preconceived notions, biases and agendas.
  • While the politicians espouse their rhetoric designed to preserve their reputations and their political power, our soldiers die!
  • The best we can do with this flawed approach [the Iraq War surge] is to stave off defeat.
  • There has been a glaring, unfortunate, display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. As a Japanese proverb says, 'Action without vision is a nightmare.' There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.
  • Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the Republican and Democratic parties struggled for power in Washington. National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. At times, these partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had a greater priority than our national security objectives. Overcoming this strategic failure is the first step toward achieving victory in Iraq — without bipartisan cooperation we are doomed to fail. There is nothing going on in Washington that would give us hope.
  • Who will demand accountability for the failure of our national political leadership involved in the management of this war? They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. In my profession, these types of leaders would immediately be relieved or court martialed.
  • Praise be to the Lord, my rock, who trains my fingers for battle and my hands for war.
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