Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Horns Of A Dilemma



In designating the President as Commander-in-Chief of the military, our founding fathers enshrined their firm belief that our generals and admirals must not be left to their own devices; that in a democracy, they must be under civilian control. The control of the people (theoretically), through their electoral choices.

I feel certain they didn't envision an uninformed idiot like Donald Trump in that role, though; not only uninformed but disinterested in and/or incapable of making the effort to learn.

So -- and here's the dilemma -- how should we feel about the fact that an uninformed idiot president has decided to hand over control of the military to its leaders? Troop levels in Afghanistan: up to them. Shooting down a Syrian fighter jet: was he in on that? What does he think -- did he "game" the possibility -- of Putin's announcement that they'll start shooting down our planes?

I don't doubt the generals, notwithstanding Trump's previous claim to the contrary, are smarter than Trump and know a hell of a lot more than he about fighting wars. But fighting wars, especially since we're now in several wars of choice, is, in the end, about politics and policy. Big picture. Strategy, not tactics. Complicated and comprehensive world-views. If presidents can't think like that, at least they should listen to people who can. And those are people at the State Department, among other places; not at -- certainly not exclusively at -- the Pentagon. The State Department is currently led by a man with no experience, and is woefully understaffed; either deliberately or due to incompetence in the Gold House.

The job of the military is to do what they're told to do, presumably by a president who has a clue. To provide him with recommendations about how to carry out his goals. They're not supposed to be the global perspective guys, the "best interest of the US" guys.

So should we be glad that Donald Trump, the most unqualified president ever, having the attention span of a charcoal briquet and the ability to learn of a flattened armadillo on I - 84, has given up his role? Or scared shitless?

CPP has some thoughts, too.

[Image source]

4 comments:

Smoothtooperate said...

"I feel certain they didn't envision an uninformed idiot like Donald Trump in that role, though; not only uninformed but disinterested in and/or incapable of making the effort to learn."

'Ol "Mad Dog" Matis would say this. You notice we never hear about Matis and Russia etc. Marines don't have time for that shit. Vietnam taught us that lesson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywkzQTGkPFg

"Gold House"
Nice one, it is what it is.

"The job of the military is to do what they're told to do, presumably by a president who has a clue. To provide him with recommendations about how to carry out his goals. They're not supposed to be the global perspective guys, the "best interest of the US" guys."

Uhuh...

"Van Riper gained notoriety after the Millennium Challenge 2002 wargame. He played the Red Team opposing force commander, and easily sank a whole carrier battle group in the simulation with an inferior Middle-Eastern "red" team in the first two days."

"After the simulation was restarted with different parameters, he claimed that the wargame had been fixed to falsely validate the current doctrine of the U.S. Navy.He is also critical of post-war Iraq plans and implementation. On April 24, 2006, he joined several other retired generals in calling for Rumsfeld's resignation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Van_Riper

Dr Strangelove said...

I tend to agree with the opinion that General McCaffrey expressed on MSNBC recently, which was that the tactical aspects of the mission in Afghanistan are best left to the generals and admirals in theater. But he added that there needs to be strategic leadership from the top DOD civilians and the president. To some degree it's a relief that Trump has said that he's backing off and loosening the reins. He's too erratic.

Trump's motivation here may have something to do with General Mattis being the only one on his staff who didn't submit to the recent Dear Leader Pledge of love and glory, as reported. Does Trump trust him? Or is he afraid of someone who would tell him to go to hell? Or has Trump distanced himself from Mattis and Afghanistan to ensure that he can blame any failure directly on the military? I wonder.

We need to get out of Afghanistan.

Smoothtooperate said...

Good to see ya Doc...

"Trump's motivation here may have something to do with General Mattis being the only one on his staff who didn't submit to the recent Dear Leader Pledge of love and glory, as reported. Does Trump trust him? Or is he afraid of someone who would tell him to go to hell? Or has Trump distanced himself from Mattis and Afghanistan to ensure that he can blame any failure directly on the military?"

My opinion is he just wants to be seen with celebrities and other bigly known people. He brought the Chinese dude to his Florida resort and shared information with everyone at the table.

Taking Drumpf at his word and his small hands makes it all taste like shit in the mouth of a Devil Dog.

My opinion is, Drumpf gives the keys to his generals. Why? Because they have the best chance not to fuck up anything. If the generals fuck up, Drumpf has a 10' pole. If it goes well, Drumpf takes the credit and starts talking about himself and the biggest crowd ever at his inauguration. Claiming that the only time the sun came out was when Drumpf took the oath. Claiming big stars will come entertain the masses.

Fact is, no stars showed up and that includes the sun. Toby Keith doesn't count. When he's not performing in public, he's 'performing' for Drumpf under the podium.

Here's what I do know. Drumpf has no idea how to run a conflict and couldn't speak the language of the military. Especially Marines, Seals, Force Recon, Delta and/or any other special forces military entity that is at the immediate disposal of the POTUS w/o having to go through congress. He tried that bullshit once and killed a few Navy Seals on an ill advised, quickly planned 'raid'.

My worry is this. Russia, Syria, N. Korea attacks and kills someone. Drumpf will take it personally because he has a small weiner. Drumpf will order some sort of bombing or invasion etc. He scares the shit outta me.

Smoothtooperate said...

"We need to get out of Afghanistan."

That's not the Drumpf way. He'll dump another 5K warriors on the fire. Like 5K bodies are going to make a difference. Enough of a difference to 'win' that is. We need to get out, but how? There's no end in sight. War generates money.

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