We open this issue with what we intend to be an occasional feature that we're calling " Crossing Swords ," a point/counterpoint discussion of a national issue or an issue of importance to the Sea Services. The matter to be debated this month-and it should come as no surprise-is what has come to be called " the generals' revolt, " the unusual decision by a number of retired generals to challenge the conduct of the war in Iraq and, concurrently, the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Is such outspokenness by retired senior officers proper, especially by those just leaving active duty, or does it violate an unwritten code that says officers may state their objections in private, but never in public? Asserting that speaking out is appropriate for those no longer in uniform is retired Army Major General John M. Riggs, one of the generals who called for Secretary Rumsfeld to resign. Taking the opposite position, that such action is improper, is George Worthington, a retired Navy rear admiral.