My opinion is based in Vietnam and post Vietnam service. The vast majoruty of ur officers were military managers not combat leaders and we got the job done in spite of them. They were slaves to "THE BOOK" and totally lacked the ability to think outside the box.
This is rather ironic, because what has come to be recognised as perhaps the major problem of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan is their inability if not unwillingness to think outside the box (at least until the arrival of Petraeus). The few officers who did, did so in direct violation of their orders (this last one was stated by a senior commander with the American airborne troops in Northern Iraq, the first one who was able to reduce the violence there).
Even more so, from what I have come across, this is an opinion shared by many from across the world, at least from the 1990's onwards (I have seen/heared Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Brits, Australians voice that opinion - also when comparing the US to other forces they had to work with). Generally they considered US troops to be among the most inflexible they encountered. I have known a US intelligence officer (who worked both at high (abstract) desk level as well as operating on the frontlines in the field) who rated most of the northwestern European NATO armies higher than the Americans, measured pound by pound.
Likewise telling perhaps, is the attitude of the Dutch in Iraq and the British, Canadians and Dutch in Afghanistan concerning the role of American troops - where to a considerable degree the American troops are seen as part of the problem, not the solution. There have been major internal debates (to put it mildly) within NATO command about the conditions under which these three nations would allow Americans to operate within the territories under their command. All three nations not surprisingly with a completely different doctrine and tactics concerning how to deal with the Taliban.
WW II actually suggest something similar. Not only was there the harsh lesson of Kasserine (where British warnings about German capabilities and tactics were ignored), similar problems again emerged in later in Italy.
And frankly I have a serious issue with your statement which makes me doubt this:
The basis for German (small-)unit tactics was the so called 'Auftragstaktik.' This led to two factors: one was that German soldiers were trained to think and act to a level one or two ranks above the level they were serving in. Second, was that the book was largely thrown out of the window - the whole concept of 'Auftragstaktik' was based on lower ranking officers and men (even privates) operating on their own initiative in order to achieve a wider pre-formulated goal.
Considering its major successes, I find it highly unlikely that this would have been abandoned after the war.
Also, you should not take the word of Australians or New Zealanders too literal, as they seem to have been amongst the most 'loose' troops there are.
In general you seem to be confusing stratification and to some extent sticking to procedures (in peace time) with an inability to listen to the lower ranks, inhibiting initiative and the like. If that were so, how then could rather disparate armies like the UK army, German army, Canadian army and the Dutch army operate together so easily - and it seems much easier than with the American army. For that matter, the enormous successes of the German army already invalidate the direct link between increasing stratification and decreasing capabilities of initiative and flexibility.