There is no doubt that President Obama is commander-in-chief – I got it — but does that mean he’s also the second coming of Prussian General, Carl von Clausewitz, who saw war primarily as ” the continuation of politics by other means?”
The uniformed leaders of the U.S. military will render the proper and due respect to the civilian leadership of the military, to include the president. However, does there come a time when the uniformed leadership should stand firm and question the commander-in-chief when what he’s doing is detrimental to the functions, missions, and operations of the United States military and the premier duty “to provide for the common defense?” I’ve researched it and haven’t found a previous occurrence — but before Obama, does anyone recall when a president stood before uniformed generals and delivered a press conference at the Pentagon? Maybe I’m all wet, but I don’t recall.
It appears there’s a steadily growing level of discontent arising in the Pentagon, especially after the last order of 50 special operators into Syria who won’t be on the front lines or getting into firefights with ISIS.
As reported by the Washington Times, “Key lawmakers from both parties say frustration with the White House among the top military officers is at its highest level in decades, the product of President Obama’s cautious approach to the wars in Syria and Iraq and an indecisive inner circle of White House advisers who, critics say, have iced the Pentagon out of the policymaking process.
“There’s a level of dissatisfaction among the uniformed military that I’ve never seen in my time here,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain in an interview. “For some of us who are a little older, let’s go back and read the Pentagon Papers — what the administration is doing is the kind of incrementalism that defined much of the Vietnam conflict.”
The Arizona Republican is known as a fierce critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, but his complaints were echoed by an unlikely source: Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.
“Frustration among the uniformed service is real,” the Washington Democrat said, adding that the administration “does keep things in the White House and has not been more inclusive in the decision-making process.” But Mr. Smith also defended the administration’s overall approach to the troubled Middle East, arguing that the “sheer complexity of the situation” following the Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamic State — also known as ISIS — have defied a simple U.S. solution. “I don’t think dropping 50,000 U.S. troops down is going to fix the situation,” he said.”
I served on the House Armed Services Committee with Ranking Member Smith and I must correct him on something — if Obama had heeded the advice of his generals, namely General Lloyd Austin, regarding Iraq, we wouldn’t have the “sheer complexity of the situation.”
You see, this is the point being raised. Obama made strategic level national security decisions not based on sound logic and reason, but instead on campaign promises and a rigid ideological stance that persuaded him to distance himself from George W. Bush. Rep. Smith shows his lack of strategic military knowledge by just throwing out some arbitrary 50,000 troop number. This is how the liberal left detractors dissuade us from taking any action — basically they wish to have no responsibility for the outcomes.
Read more: allenbwest.com