Warning of strained military/civilian relationship

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ASPartOfMe
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06 Sep 2022, 7:01 pm

Military Must Beware of 'Extreme Strain' from Political Divides, Warn 13 Former Defense Leaders

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Eight former defense secretaries and five former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are warning of an "extreme strain" on the relationship between the military and civilians caused by political polarization and other societal pressures.

In an open letter published Tuesday in the national security blog War on the Rocks, the former Pentagon and military leaders argued it is important to review "best practices" for healthy civil-military relations in the face of what they described as an "exceptionally challenging civil-military environment."

The letter does not ascribe the challenges to any one politician or political party. But it notes that the 2020 election was the "first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt" -- a situation caused by former President Donald Trump and his allies lying that the election had been stolen and his supporters' attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden's victory.

n addition to politics, the former officials also cite the COVID-19 pandemic and economic disruptions, as well as the end of the post-9/11 wars "without all the goals satisfactorily accomplished" and the ramping up of so-called great power competition, as straining civil-military relations.

"Looking ahead, all of these factors could well get worse before they get better," the former officials wrote.

The warning about an erosion of civil-military relations in recent years is not new, but the letter is notable for how many top leaders joined together to sign.

The signatories include both of Trump's confirmed defense secretaries, Jim Mattis and Mark Esper. The letter was also signed by defense secretaries from the Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton administrations: Ash Carter, William Cohen, Bob Gates, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta and William Perry.

Every chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since October 2001 also signed: Gen. Martin Dempsey, Gen. Joe Dunford, Adm. Mike Mullen, Gen. Richard Myers and Gen. Peter Pace.

The Army also set off a debate about politicizing the military by airing a reenlistment ceremony on the Fox News morning show "Fox and Friends," a favorite program of Trump's that has, among other partisan targets, invited guests who have attacked the military during the Biden administration as "woke" for trying to improve diversity.

In their letter, the former Pentagon officials stress that service members have significant limits on participation in partisan politics and that the military has "carefully delimited roles in law enforcement."

"Civilian control of the military is part of the bedrock foundation of American democracy," they wrote. "The democratic project is not threatened by the existence of a powerful standing military so long as civilian and military leaders -- and the rank-and-file they lead -- embrace and implement effective civilian control."


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goldfish21
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06 Sep 2022, 10:09 pm

I thought forum member Matrix already told us this is all much ado about nothing.. that it's a big nothingburger that ultra magas just wanna see the usa burn.

Must be a bunch of woke defense secretaries overreacting for no reason whatsoever.


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Matrix Glitch
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06 Sep 2022, 10:35 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Military Must Beware of 'Extreme Strain' from Political Divides, Warn 13 Former Defense Leaders
Quote:
Eight former defense secretaries and five former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are warning of an "extreme strain" on the relationship between the military and civilians caused by political polarization and other societal pressures.

In an open letter published Tuesday in the national security blog War on the Rocks, the former Pentagon and military leaders argued it is important to review "best practices" for healthy civil-military relations in the face of what they described as an "exceptionally challenging civil-military environment."

The letter does not ascribe the challenges to any one politician or political party. But it notes that the 2020 election was the "first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt" -- a situation caused by former President Donald Trump and his allies lying that the election had been stolen and his supporters' attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden's victory.

n addition to politics, the former officials also cite the COVID-19 pandemic and economic disruptions, as well as the end of the post-9/11 wars "without all the goals satisfactorily accomplished" and the ramping up of so-called great power competition, as straining civil-military relations.

"Looking ahead, all of these factors could well get worse before they get better," the former officials wrote.

The warning about an erosion of civil-military relations in recent years is not new, but the letter is notable for how many top leaders joined together to sign.

The signatories include both of Trump's confirmed defense secretaries, Jim Mattis and Mark Esper. The letter was also signed by defense secretaries from the Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton administrations: Ash Carter, William Cohen, Bob Gates, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta and William Perry.

Every chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since October 2001 also signed: Gen. Martin Dempsey, Gen. Joe Dunford, Adm. Mike Mullen, Gen. Richard Myers and Gen. Peter Pace.

The Army also set off a debate about politicizing the military by airing a reenlistment ceremony on the Fox News morning show "Fox and Friends," a favorite program of Trump's that has, among other partisan targets, invited guests who have attacked the military during the Biden administration as "woke" for trying to improve diversity.

In their letter, the former Pentagon officials stress that service members have significant limits on participation in partisan politics and that the military has "carefully delimited roles in law enforcement."

"Civilian control of the military is part of the bedrock foundation of American democracy," they wrote. "The democratic project is not threatened by the existence of a powerful standing military so long as civilian and military leaders -- and the rank-and-file they lead -- embrace and implement effective civilian control."

I'm scratching my head on this some, especially since the link to this open letter goes to some obscure website called "War on the Rocks" which is part of "Metamorphic Media" whatever that is. I'm always skeptical regarding sources when I have to start doing research on them to try to figure out who they are.



Matrix Glitch
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06 Sep 2022, 10:38 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
I thought forum member Matrix already told us this is all much ado about nothing.. that it's a big nothingburger that ultra magas just wanna see the usa burn.

Must be a bunch of woke defense secretaries overreacting for no reason whatsoever.

What goes though your mind hardly matches what I say, considering I can barely figure out what you're talking about.

Much ado over nothing is the sort of thing that starts wars. The Democrats in their ongoing attempt to prevent Trump from winning a future election though endless hearings, is what's driving this thing. Biden having himself flanked by Marines during his enemy of the state speech, pushed the strained military/civilian relationship to the breaking point.



Last edited by Matrix Glitch on 06 Sep 2022, 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

kraftiekortie
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06 Sep 2022, 10:44 pm

It is well known that the top military brass never cared for Trump.



goldfish21
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06 Sep 2022, 10:50 pm

Matrix Glitch wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
I thought forum member Matrix already told us this is all much ado about nothing.. that it's a big nothingburger that ultra magas just wanna see the usa burn.

Must be a bunch of woke defense secretaries overreacting for no reason whatsoever.

What goes though your mind hardly matches what I say, considering I can barely figure out what you're talking about.

Much ado over nothing is the sort of thing that starts wars. The Democrats in there ongoing attempt to prevent Trump from winning a future election though endless hearings, is what's driving this thing. Biden having himself flanked by Marines during his enemy of the state speech pushed the strained military/civilian relationship to the breaking point.

:lol:

At least you're entertaining - I'll give you that much.

Sadly, though, I don't think you were actually trying to be funny.. it's almost as if you believe the things you write despite all of the evidence in objective reality to the contrary.

If trump being held accountable for his crime spree results in him not being able to run for political office again then that's on him for his crimes, not on democrats or anyone else. Only trump is personally responsible for his crimes. No one else committed his crimes for him. Yes, many people committed crimes in his name and on his behalf - but he committed his own and ought to face consequences for it. That's how it works.


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goldfish21
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06 Sep 2022, 10:50 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
It is well known that the top military brass never cared for Trump.

Even though the military was completely depleted and they didn't even have bullets on the shelves before trump got elected and rebuilt the military from scratch single handedly???


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Matrix Glitch
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06 Sep 2022, 11:05 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Matrix Glitch wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
I thought forum member Matrix already told us this is all much ado about nothing.. that it's a big nothingburger that ultra magas just wanna see the usa burn.

Must be a bunch of woke defense secretaries overreacting for no reason whatsoever.

What goes though your mind hardly matches what I say, considering I can barely figure out what you're talking about.

Much ado over nothing is the sort of thing that starts wars. The Democrats in there ongoing attempt to prevent Trump from winning a future election though endless hearings, is what's driving this thing. Biden having himself flanked by Marines during his enemy of the state speech pushed the strained military/civilian relationship to the breaking point.

:lol:

At least you're entertaining - I'll give you that much.

Sadly, though, I don't think you were actually trying to be funny.. it's almost as if you believe the things you write despite all of the evidence in objective reality to the contrary.

If trump being held accountable for his crime spree results in him not being able to run for political office again then that's on him for his crimes, not on democrats or anyone else. Only trump is personally responsible for his crimes. No one else committed his crimes for him. Yes, many people committed crimes in his name and on his behalf - but he committed his own and ought to face consequences for it. That's how it works.

It's all political and like Russiagate it's not going to lead to anything happening to Trump legally. And Biden's speech made the polarization problem ten times worse. I'm just waiting to see what they come up with next that ends up being the straw that breaks the camel's back.



goldfish21
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06 Sep 2022, 11:09 pm

Matrix Glitch wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
Matrix Glitch wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
I thought forum member Matrix already told us this is all much ado about nothing.. that it's a big nothingburger that ultra magas just wanna see the usa burn.

Must be a bunch of woke defense secretaries overreacting for no reason whatsoever.

What goes though your mind hardly matches what I say, considering I can barely figure out what you're talking about.

Much ado over nothing is the sort of thing that starts wars. The Democrats in there ongoing attempt to prevent Trump from winning a future election though endless hearings, is what's driving this thing. Biden having himself flanked by Marines during his enemy of the state speech pushed the strained military/civilian relationship to the breaking point.

:lol:

At least you're entertaining - I'll give you that much.

Sadly, though, I don't think you were actually trying to be funny.. it's almost as if you believe the things you write despite all of the evidence in objective reality to the contrary.

If trump being held accountable for his crime spree results in him not being able to run for political office again then that's on him for his crimes, not on democrats or anyone else. Only trump is personally responsible for his crimes. No one else committed his crimes for him. Yes, many people committed crimes in his name and on his behalf - but he committed his own and ought to face consequences for it. That's how it works.

It's all political and like Russiagate it's not going to lead to anything happening to Trump legally. And Biden's speech made the polarization problem ten times worse. I'm just waiting to see what they come up with next that ends up being the straw that breaks the camel's back.


Um, no. It's justice.. from the Department of Justice. It's trump facing consequences for his crimes. Not the Biden re-election campaign (is he even running?) or DNC or anyone else conducting political investigations into trump. Not sure how you missed that tbh, but glad to help you sort it out.

Biden's speech resulted in a collective "FINALLY he grows a spine and says what everyone's been thinking for the last couple years."

Straw that breaks what camels back? You mean builds critical mass for Biden/democrats re-election? :?


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Matrix Glitch
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06 Sep 2022, 11:46 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Um, no. It's justice.. from the Department of Justice. It's trump facing consequences for his crimes. Not the Biden re-election campaign (is he even running?) or DNC or anyone else conducting political investigations into trump. Not sure how you missed that tbh, but glad to help you sort it out.

Biden's speech resulted in a collective "FINALLY he grows a spine and says what everyone's been thinking for the last couple years."

Straw that breaks what camels back? You mean builds critical mass for Biden/democrats re-election?

No, that's not what I meant.
goldfish21 wrote:
:-?

Exactly.



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07 Sep 2022, 2:06 am

I think it should be alarming if there is a fracture between civilians and military. Then again, this isn't the military of the greatest generation, which was filled with draftees from all walks of American life. Todays rank-and-file are what Frederick the Great had once described as the source of his recruitment for the Prussian army: the "riffraff." Many are drawn from the least educated, most politically and religiously extreme corners of America. And I know I'm going to get ripped a new one by members of WP who are vets, but I'm sorry, that's how I perceive things.


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07 Sep 2022, 2:40 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
I think it should be alarming if there is a fracture between civilians and military. Then again, this isn't the military of the greatest generation, which was filled with draftees from all walks of American life. Todays rank-and-file are what Frederick the Great had once described as the source of his recruitment for the Prussian army: the "riffraff." Many are drawn from the least educated, most politically and religiously extreme corners of America. And I know I'm going to get ripped a new one by members of WP who are vets, but I'm sorry, that's how I perceive things.

While true and a valid concern, military leadership aren't a bunch of undesirables.. and if the chain of command holds, they won't exactly be ordering soldiers to do stupid things like attack civilians. If the riffraff have been trained properly, they'll obey the orders they're given.


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07 Sep 2022, 3:39 am

 ! magz wrote:
Please, keep the offtopic personal-partisan dispute confined to relevant threads.


The military, similarily to general foreign relations, should not be engaged in partisan conflicts. We need stability in these regions.
And, damn, I do care for US military right now! Personally. I don't care which candidates families of the soldiers vote for, I care if in case of further SHTF we can count on NATO structures.


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07 Sep 2022, 4:53 am

The top military brass REALLY REALLY dislike Trump.

The rank and file: it depends.

The military is still seen as being a potentially good career for those with dead-end or no jobs.



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07 Sep 2022, 7:40 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
I think it should be alarming if there is a fracture between civilians and military. Then again, this isn't the military of the greatest generation, which was filled with draftees from all walks of American life. Todays rank-and-file are what Frederick the Great had once described as the source of his recruitment for the Prussian army: the "riffraff." Many are drawn from the least educated, most politically and religiously extreme corners of America. And I know I'm going to get ripped a new one by members of WP who are vets, but I'm sorry, that's how I perceive things.

While true and a valid concern, military leadership aren't a bunch of undesirables.. and if the chain of command holds, they won't exactly be ordering soldiers to do stupid things like attack civilians. If the riffraff have been trained properly, they'll obey the orders they're given.


Very true.


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07 Sep 2022, 11:46 pm

That's why we need DeSantis for president. He can put a stop to all of this.


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