Friday, April 30, 2010

Democratic Military

I’ll tell you what, the military has sure changed since I served in the 1960’s. Back then we would have been utterly confounded by a statement from the Secretary of Defense, as quoted in the LA Times, that something would,

"…send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns, and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such a direct impact and consequence for them and their families."

I can just see it now. We are in North Atlantic, off the north coast of Russia, and are spotted by a Soviet aircraft. Before diving the boat the Captain decides that he needs to obtain the “views, concerns, and perspectives” of the crew on whether or not we should pull the cork. I think not.

Back then we had a “chain of command” not a “chain of suggestion.”


  1. bruce9:32 PM

    But do the rank and file opinions matter at all? I would think they are talking about things other than military action, like diving a boat.

  2. I was a Coastie in the late 70's and I do not recall my opinions having that much impact. That was a good thing.

  3. Ok, a bit late to the party, I found where the part in question came from. It was regarding ending the gay ban in the military. Part of me would like to know what the military (officers, enlisted, civilians) think about it.

    But the military is not a democratic institution, so getting opinions is disingenous at best. And is sounds like that is a smokescreen or delaying tactic, especially if they are not going to be listened to.

    The other part (and I will admit the more dominate one) says that since Congress made the law, they are the ones to change it and the military ought to just stay out of it. They are supposed to be non-political, right? Yeah, I know, they should be and frequently are not, at least in the political arena. Never mind inter-necene politics within the military itself.

    The military (or maybe better if Pres. Obama just EO's it) can stop enforcing it until the Congress makes changes in the law. And they can just stay out of the lawmaking process.