Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Who's Running America

The conflict between the Koreas has sent Admiral Mike Mullen, our highest military official, to South Korea to plan how to respond to... Wait a minute; Admiral Mullen? From the New York Times today, (emphasis mine)

The top American military officer lashed out at China on Wednesday for failing to intervene diplomatically with North Korea, as he met with his South Korean counterpart to discuss possible armed responses to future provocations from Pyongyang.

Maybe "lashing out" at China is the correct thing to do, I don't presume to know, but I would certainly suggest that is not our military which should be doing it. Our military is not an instrument of foreign affairs, and should not be speaking for this country. That is the job of elected officials, to speak for the people who elected them.

Even worse, deciding what military reactions will be taken against another nation is the sole responsibility of the Commander in Chief, not of some cocked up Admiral. For him to be discussing American military adventurism with another nation, rather than merely representing the specific instruction of his President is grossly out of line.

The Commander in Chief says publicly and forcefully that he wants a policy for the military implemented by Congress and no fewer than three flag-rank officers sit before Congress and brazenly tell them that they should not comply with the President's wishes.

What role is the military playing in running this nation? Military officers have been increasingly speaking publicly in matters of policy, and they have increasingly spoken in terms that were at odds with positions taken publicly by their Commander in Chief. They have manipulated the President into following their wishes in matters of war policy, and have done so with increasingly brazen openness. Now they are addressing American foreign policy and planning military responses with other nations.

President Obama needs to reign these arrogant officers in and he needs to do it sharply and soon.

1 comment:

Retired Military said...

The military is sworn to defend the Constiution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and obey the lawful orders of those appointed over them. That means Congress and the President of the United States. The military does not make foreign policy however they can be used to enforce it. The military isn't supposed to speak in areas that is outside their area. They cannot speak about politics. They can talk about rules of engagement, operational needs and plans that do not compromise National Security, and can "advise" the politicians and President on suggested courses of action. It is not within their power or realm to make policy. That is the job of the politicians. The final decision to use force, how much force, and what type of force (conventional, nuclear, or chemical) lays with the President.

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