Military and Civilian Gov't

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Mikedunford
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#51

Post by Mikedunford »

Yeah, it's old news. But the President's conduct throughout the Eddie Galagher thing has definitely not marked a high point in military-civilian relations. It's sometimes good for the military to be reminded that they're not in charge - but not so much when the reminders are coming in the form of assaults on the rule of law and the glorification of war criminals.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#52

Post by Hurtzi »

Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:43 pm
Yeah, it's old news. But the President's conduct throughout the Eddie Galagher thing has definitely not marked a high point in military-civilian relations. It's sometimes good for the military to be reminded that they're not in charge - but not so much when the reminders are coming in the form of assaults on the rule of law and the glorification of war criminals.
As far as I know no military leader has resigned over this. The lower grades wear mostly MAGA- caps anyway.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#53

Post by realist »

Hurtzi wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:53 pm
Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:43 pm
Yeah, it's old news. But the President's conduct throughout the Eddie Galagher thing has definitely not marked a high point in military-civilian relations. It's sometimes good for the military to be reminded that they're not in charge - but not so much when the reminders are coming in the form of assaults on the rule of law and the glorification of war criminals.
As far as I know no military leader has resigned over this. The lower grades wear mostly MAGA- caps anyway.
Besides the Secretary of the Navy, of course.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#54

Post by Hurtzi »

realist wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:01 pm
Hurtzi wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:53 pm
Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:43 pm
Yeah, it's old news. But the President's conduct throughout the Eddie Galagher thing has definitely not marked a high point in military-civilian relations. It's sometimes good for the military to be reminded that they're not in charge - but not so much when the reminders are coming in the form of assaults on the rule of law and the glorification of war criminals.
As far as I know no military leader has resigned over this. The lower grades wear mostly MAGA- caps anyway.
Besides the Secretary of the Navy, of course.
Honor to whom Honor is due! (But is he really military? )
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Mikedunford
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#55

Post by Mikedunford »

Hurtzi wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:53 pm
Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:43 pm
Yeah, it's old news. But the President's conduct throughout the Eddie Galagher thing has definitely not marked a high point in military-civilian relations. It's sometimes good for the military to be reminded that they're not in charge - but not so much when the reminders are coming in the form of assaults on the rule of law and the glorification of war criminals.
As far as I know no military leader has resigned over this. The lower grades wear mostly MAGA- caps anyway.
I'm not sure that it's bad that no military leader has made a show of resigning over this. (Without a show, hard to know if anyone has left quietly.)

I'm also not sure that your second sentence is true.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#56

Post by Northland10 »

Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:33 pm
Hurtzi wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:53 pm
Mikedunford wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:43 pm
Yeah, it's old news. But the President's conduct throughout the Eddie Galagher thing has definitely not marked a high point in military-civilian relations. It's sometimes good for the military to be reminded that they're not in charge - but not so much when the reminders are coming in the form of assaults on the rule of law and the glorification of war criminals.
As far as I know no military leader has resigned over this. The lower grades wear mostly MAGA- caps anyway.
I'm not sure that it's bad that no military leader has made a show of resigning over this. (Without a show, hard to know if anyone has left quietly.)

I'm also not sure that your second sentence is true.
Sticking it out so you can quietly protect the troops from an out of control commander is the best leadership some of these career military leaders can give right now. If they leave, we could end up with leaders whose loyalty is to Trump first and the Country and its Constitution second.

To also, my understanding is the military takes very badly to civilian leadership wildly messing with military culture and discipline. This could cause him to lose whatever support/votes of those soldiers he may have had.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#57

Post by Maybenaut »

Perhaps surprisingly, I’m not bothered by the prosecutors in the Gallagher case getting their awards stripped. The prosecutors engaged in unethical conduct in the Gallagher case, including spying on the defense by sending e-mails with traceable code embedded inside (they claimed they were trying to identify a leaker).

Gallagher’s a reprehensible piece of shit, but he deserved a fair trial without his lawyers being spied on by the government.

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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#58

Post by Addie »

Newsweek
Retired Admiral Warns Trump's Administration Is 'Increasing Anarchy' and Moving Toward 'Lord of the Flies' ...

Stavridis, who previously served as the supreme allied commander of NATO, raised the concern during a segment of MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday. His remarks came as panelists on the show discussed Trump and Attorney General William Barr's criticism of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's findings on the origins of the FBI's probe into Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian interference.

"This is really a collision between order and rule of law and increasing anarchy," the retired military leader said. He noted that the attorney general, as well as the secretary of defense and the head of the CIA, are "so central" to the institutions of the country.

"And when we have to worry about whether an inspector general is going to be overridden in one of those three positions, you start to feel that needle moving from the Federalist Papers to the island in Lord of the Flies," Stavridis argued.

The Federalist Papers are a compilation of essays and articles that were written by several Founding Fathers—including Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay—to encourage the colonial states to ratify the Constitution. Lord of the Flies is a well-known novel about a group of young boys marooned on a deserted island. They form a society where the stronger boys take control through coercion and violence.

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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#59

Post by Addie »

Political Wire: Half In Military Disapprove of Trump

A new Military Times poll of active-duty military personnel finds President Trump with an upside down approval rate of 42% to 50%

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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#60

Post by SLQ »

Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:05 pm
Political Wire: Half In Military Disapprove of Trump

A new Military Times poll of active-duty military personnel finds President Trump with an upside down approval rate of 42% to 50%
Well, that's reassuring.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#61

Post by Addie »

It is. :swoon:
SLQ wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:15 pm
Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:05 pm
Political Wire: Half In Military Disapprove of Trump

A new Military Times poll of active-duty military personnel finds President Trump with an upside down approval rate of 42% to 50%
Well, that's reassuring.

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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#62

Post by Mikedunford »

The military is a bit more conservative than the US as a whole - but only a bit. And it tends to be conservative in the traditionalist sense more than the radical one. So I'm not really shocked by those results.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#63

Post by Maybenaut »

Mikedunford wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:35 pm
The military is a bit more conservative than the US as a whole - but only a bit. And it tends to be conservative in the traditionalist sense more than the radical one. So I'm not really shocked by those results.
:yeah:

And my experience on active duty was that military people were not necessarily as conservative as the polls suggested.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#64

Post by RVInit »

SLQ wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:15 pm
Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:05 pm
Political Wire: Half In Military Disapprove of Trump

A new Military Times poll of active-duty military personnel finds President Trump with an upside down approval rate of 42% to 50%
Well, that's reassuring.
:yeah:
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#65

Post by Addie »

New York Times OpEd - Jonathan Stevenson: The Commander in Chief’s Following Wanes ...


It’s widely believed that the military is predisposed to lean Republican. In 2009, even with George W. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan looking grim, a Gallup poll found that 34 percent of active-duty personnel and veterans were Republicans, versus 29 percent Democrats; in stark contrast, among Americans who had not served in the military, Republicans trailed with 26 percent to the Democrats’ 38 percent.

That history suggests that President Trump, with his preference for former generals as senior appointees and eagerness to indulge in a martial strut at every opportunity, would have a leg up with members of the armed forces — and indeed he started his presidency with strong support in the military. But that has changed.

According to a Military Times survey conducted last fall, 50 percent of active-service military hold an unfavorable view of the president, compared to only 37 percent when he was elected. Officers especially disfavor him, with only a third indicating approval. ...

In the 1950s, the political scientist Samuel P. Huntington prescribed military obedience to civilian leaders in areas of strategic or political discretion, and civilian deference to the military on operational and bureaucratic matters. That became the accepted framework. Mr. Trump, by interfering with the military’s internal administration while demonstrating strategic incompetence, has threatened to upend it.

In late 2019, after interviewing current and former senior military officers, the veteran reporter Mark Bowden commented, “I have never heard officers in high positions express such alarm about a president.”

In that light, the slow-motion train wreck in civil-military relations during Mr. Trump’s presidency makes some sense. Underlying the longstanding Republican tilt within the military is a solid, traditionally conservative sensibility that abhors abrupt and heedless shifts in accepted conduct. But in the last four years, the Republican Party itself has abandoned those norms at Mr. Trump’s behest. Like the majority of Americans, a growing number of soldiers, sailors and Marines see Mr. Trump as unworthy of being their commander in chief.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#66

Post by RoadScholar »

I know some military folks for whom the last straw was Trump's smearing of John McCain.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#67

Post by Northland10 »

Years ago, I read the book The Pentagon and the Presidency: Civil-Military Relations From FDR to George W. Bush by Dale R. Herspring. Originally a dissertation, he later expanded it to book. It was an interesting and enjoyable read (and for those of us who appreciate these things, it had a simple structure that was used for each president, making it easy to compare). I rather wish he would update it for the rest of Bush II, Obama, and Trump so far. It would be interesting.

And, being a Republican and even past military is not a help. Eisenhower had his own issues such as the Revolt of the Admirals. I suspect the assumed lean to Republican is due to LBJ and Vietnam, the 1970's post-Vietnam malaise, Reagan's push to make the military loved again (despite breaking "do not use the military as a presence" rule in Beruit), and some rather heavy dislike of Clinton's 1970s activities. Bush I also took Reagan's work and had the military play badass in Panama and Kuwait.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#68

Post by Addie »

WaPo - Greg Sargent: Trump’s latest eruption just showed that Jim Mattis is entirely right ...

Mattis’s denunciation of Trump

At the center of Mattis’s denunciation of Trump is the violent removal of peaceful protesters to clear the way for Trump’s authoritarian set-piece: his striding through a militarily pacified zone, against a backdrop of civil strife, to hold aloft a Bible. His advisers viewed this as a triumph, positioning him as the righteous conqueror of that disorder.

Mattis pointed out that the vast majority of protesters are simply demanding that we “live up to our values as people and our values as a nation,” which include “equal justice before the law.” He ripped into the clearing out of protesters as an “abuse of executive authority.”

Mattis also placed his criticism of that abuse in the larger context of Trump’s effort to “militarize our response to protests.” Mattis noted that this “erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect.”

Importantly, this casts Trump’s militarization of the response as itself constituting a serious threat to “public order,” as Mattis put it, because it amounts to ordering troops “to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens.”

This appears to be a widespread worry inside the Pentagon. Whether driven by mere appearances or something more noble, there is “extraordinary tension” among Pentagon officials since Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to send troops into U.S. cities to quell unrest.
Adding:
Bloomberg - Jonathan Bernstein: Mattis's Rebuke of Trump Is a Big Deal

Rarely has a former defense secretary publicly criticized a president he once served — and never in such harsh terms.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#69

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Politico: 'The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened': John Kelly defends Mattis

Kelly called Mattis “an honorable man” and described Trump’s Twitter attack on the former Defense secretary as “nasty.” ...

“The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly, who was Trump's chief of staff when Mattis departed the administration, told the Washington Post. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused.”

In December 2018, Mattis resigned while citing differences in views with Trump. The move coincided with Trump's announcement that the U.S. would withdraw nearly all of its military forces from Syria. Trump then appointed Patrick Shanahan acting secretary of Defense on Jan. 1, 2019, cutting Mattis’ tenure short by two months.

While Wednesday’s statement marks the first time Mattis has spoken out publicly against the president, Kelly delivered sharp criticism of Trump in February. The Atlantic reported that Kelly defended Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key figure in Trump’s impeachment who was removed from the White House, while also diverging from the president’s disparaging comments on migrants.

Kelly and Mattis, both retired four-star Marine Corps generals, were subjects of early infatuation for Trump, who bragged often about stocking his initial cabinet with military brass. The president has since soured on the two generals, both of whom have broken with the president on high-profile issues since departing the administration.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#70

Post by Addie »

WaPo - Jennifer Rubin: Revolt of the generals

We do not yet know precisely why Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper publicly broke with President Trump on Wednesday, renouncing the use of the Insurrection Act as a means to deploy the military against civilian demonstrators. We can surmise, however, that Pentagon brass was finally fed up and prevailed upon Esper to speak out.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who had accompanied Trump on his march across Lafayette Square, put out a memo on June 2, which read like a not-very-subtle rebuke of Trump’s attempt to use the military to suppress protesters:
1. Every member of the U.S. military swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution and the values embedded within it. ... We in uniform — all branches, all components, and all ranks — remain committed to our national values and principles embedded in the Constitution.

2. During this current crisis, the National Guard is operating under the authority of state governors to protect lives and property, preserve peace, and ensure public safety.

3. As members of the Joint Force-comprised of all races, colors, and creeds — you embody the ideals of our Constitution. Please remind all of our troops and leaders that we will uphold the values of our nation, and operate consistent with national laws and our own high standards of conduct at all times.
James N. Miller, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, announced his resignation from the Science Defense Board in the pages of The Post and upbraided Esper:
As a concerned citizen, and as a former senior defense official who cares deeply about the military, I urge you to consider closely both your future actions and your future words. For example, some could interpret literally your suggestion to the nation’s governors Monday that they need to “dominate the battlespace.” I cannot believe that you see the United States as a “battlespace,” or that you believe our citizens must be “dominated.” Such language sends an extremely dangerous signal.
Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, also spoke up this week in support of the protests for racial justice, with Silveria directly repudiating use of violence against fellow Americans.

In addition, Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, who heads the National Guard Bureau, put out a statement Wednesday entitled “We Must Do Better,” denouncing the racism that has resulted in the deaths of so many unarmed African Americans, urging Americans to listen and learn and reminding us, “Everyone who wears the uniform of our country takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and everything for which it stands.” He declared that if they are to uphold their oath as service personnel and “decent human beings” they must uphold the oath.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#71

Post by Addie »

National Post - Joe Conason: A Timely Warning From The Generals

Under ordinary circumstances, open dissent from high-ranking military officials against the actions of civilian political leaders would signal a danger familiar to other countries. Such rumblings from military circles often indicate that constitutional freedoms are in jeopardy and that martial law, or even a coup d'etat, may be on the horizon.

In these extraordinary circumstances, however, all expectations are reversed — and the usual order of things is turned upside down.

So, rather than sounding ominous, the blunt rebukes of President Donald Trump by retired and active officers this week sounded reassuring. They said our most respected military leaders will not stand by silently while this president and his crowd deface the Constitution and menace the nation.

The first to speak out was James Mattis, a venerated retired Marine general who served as secretary of defense under Trump until their disagreements forced him to resign. Until now, Mattis had resisted the urge to criticize the administration as a matter of principle. But like many Americans, apparently including his fellow officers, Mattis felt horrified watching peaceful protesters driven from Lafayette Square by brute force so Trump could posture in front of a church, brandishing a Bible (which he held upside down).

Mattis acted swiftly, issuing an acerbic statement that he opened by describing himself as "angry and appalled." Published first in The Atlantic and then widely reprinted, it is very much worth reading in full. He condemned the actions of not only Trump but also his successor, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Gen. Mark Milley, the current chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. He wrote: "When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside."

Provoked by Trump's authoritarian misconduct, Mattis said at last what he has surely known for years, namely that Trump is unfit for public office and represents an existential threat to our values and society. He dismissed Trump as immature and worse, a political charlatan who incites division instead of unity in a style that Mattis likened to the Nazi ethos of "divide and conquer." He advised his fellow Americans, as we confront the nation's legacy of racism and establish true equality under law, to disregard the president.

"We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society," wrote Mattis. "We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution."

Within hours of Mattis breaking from Trump, other flag officers followed.
Adding:
WaPo - David Ignatius: Why Mattis and Mullen toppled their bridge of silence
CBC News: Why military men pushing back on Trump is an 'extraordinary' event in American democracy

The president's threat of deploying troops triggers an uncommon uproar
"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver

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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#72

Post by AndyinPA »

That fence, which he is enlarging, makes me nervous. It's surrounded by "secret police," probably the prison guard people. They report to Barr. I wonder if it will come down before, or after, the election in November. It's supposedly keeping people out, but could it also be used to keep someone out who might have to force him out in January?

Crazy times. I put nothing past him, particularly with Barr at his side.
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#73

Post by RVInit »

AndyinPA wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:11 pm
That fence, which he is enlarging, makes me nervous. It's surrounded by "secret police," probably the prison guard people. They report to Barr. I wonder if it will come down before, or after, the election in November. It's supposedly keeping people out, but could it also be used to keep someone out who might have to force him out in January?

Crazy times. I put nothing past him, particularly with Barr at his side.
:yeah:
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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#74

Post by AndyinPA »

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"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." -- Thomas Paine

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Re: Military and Civilian Gov't

#75

Post by pipistrelle »

AndyinPA wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:09 pm
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The bunker not secure enough?

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