Mattis, Flynn Et Kelly - the Real Risks America Faces

This is not a Triumirate, ok? Not Roman. Not French Revolutionary. Nor a Latin American junta. The trio of retired generals: heading the Defense Department; as National Security Advisor; and now also as Secretary of Homeland Security, will be reporting to one and only one Commander in Chief. President Trump.

Does this represent a danger to the sacred principle of civilian control over the military in the United States of America? Writing in Vox, no less, retired General Charles Dunlap (a former Deputy Judge Advocate General), insists that it is ridiculous to worry about the loss of civilian control over the military. The culture of a civilian-run republic is so deeply ingrained in all of America, and especially in the military themselves, that any crazed commander (a theoretical aside from the fiction of Dr. Strangelove) would be unable to lead unwilling troops against the republic they commit their lives to defend. He's right, of course.

Ah, but it's more subtle than that. The trio of generals (assuming Petraeus does not get State) would be lead a hawkish conspiracy to involve America in needless conflict around the world. Actually, if you want hawkish conspiracy theories, look to liberal or neo-con civilians who push bellicose agendas. Not to former generals who have had to do the dirty work that a think tank hawk has helped impose on them and their troops.

No, those aren't the dangers. Or even the hopes of having three former generals in Trump's Cabinet. It's something much more germane to Washington D.C. The Pentagon is an enormous bureaucracy. And when you throw in the DHS, you're talking an enormous operating budget. How many employees at Defense? Over a million. That's a lot of government payroll checks. And there's always a few capital expenditures on things like the new Littoral Combat Ship which costs billions and can't sail through the Panama Canal. According to a Washington Post story, (co-authored by Bob Woodward no less), the Pentagon has tried to bury a 2015 report that focused on trying to estimate waste in the military and how to reduce it.

Why do such a backhanded move? It's beltway politics: the fear that sequestration of Defense budgets might be ratcheted up and leave many pet projects on the shelf. In other words, the inefficiencies found in the report were much worse than what the Pentagon expected. $125 billion worth of potential savings over a 5-year time period. That money could be applied to more combat-relevant projects, if the amount weren't so huge. $25 billion a year in savings. That's epic. And Congress would be - will be? - all over the Pentagon about wasteful spending. Hypocrisy aside - how many jobs in any district depend on generous military contracts? - this could endanger future growth of military spending, so the report was shelved.

So the real challenge facing Mattis, and Flynn and Kelly, is how to bring the enormous pork barrel spending the military does engage in to heel. And how to strip away the facade of need-to-know secrecy in military circles, in those cases when the real goal is to protect turf and industry contracts. While keeping obvious requirements for secrecy on those projects that truly need it. Not an easy job to take on any bureaucracy in Washington. Especially the one at the Pentagon and at DHS. They will need a whole lot of mission focus.

Posted by Keeley at December 9, 2016 11:58 AM
Comments
Comment #411034

Keeley,

Thank you for bringing this up. It is particularly relevant with regards to Mattis, who needs a waiver to head the DoD. While such a waiver has been granted once before and I expect it will be granted again, the tradition of civilian control of the military demands that we take a moment to pause and better understand our current circumstances. I have read reports of Republicans trying to insert Mattis’ waiver into must-pass spending legislation. That is not the honorable way of doing things. Such a waiver needs to be decided on its own merits instead of being attached to something else. The Senate needs to take its job seriously, providing advice and consent rather than simply rubber stamping whoever Trump nominates.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 9, 2016 12:56 PM
Comment #411039

Warped, Technically Mattis is a civilian but as far as the waiver goes attaching it to a must pass bill is nothing new, Democrats do it Republicans do it when they want their pet projects passed. As far as the Senate taking it’s job seriously??????

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 9, 2016 4:01 PM
Comment #411040

Mattis has not been out of service long enough to be considered a civilian under the National Security Act of 1947. This waiver is no mere pet project and there is no reason to attach it to the spending bill. Republicans can easily pass it on its own. In any case, Mattis has a responsibility to affirmatively demonstrate why exactly Congress should be waiving its laws for him. Attaching this to a spending bill just makes a farce of the law.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 9, 2016 4:13 PM
Comment #411041

It was a bad nomination, a mistake by Trump and his transition team, and also a mistake by Mattis to accept it. Civilian control of the military is fundamental, and as an officer- a general- Mattis should known and respected that. It is concerning that he would even say ‘yes’ to this in the first place.

I believe his name was not attached to the spending bill after all. Generally speaking, I would expect the Senate to question candidates, but unless there is a compelling reason, unless there is something really wrong, a president should see his nominations approved.

I do not think Mattis will be approved.

Sessions is doubtful. His opposition to the Voting Rights Act and virtually every piece of civil rights legislation is bad enough, but his racism came out in testimony before a Republican Senate Judiciary Committee in the past, and it was so bad, he was denied a position as a federal judge. To place him in the position of AG would simply be incredible.

Of course, we are looking at a nominee at the EPA who is a Climate Change Denier, and a guy at Labor who wants to keep wages as low as possible, so there is no telling. But it is odd that Mattis, who is otherwise uncontroversial, is the one who is sure to be denied.

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2016 4:35 PM
Comment #411043

Warped, As long as he has a gray retired ID card, he is a civilian. He became a civilian the day he became a RETIRED GENERAL.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 9, 2016 5:22 PM
Comment #411047

KAP,
Gray retired ID cards are meaningless with regard to the 1947 Nat’l Security Act. The law says the SoD most be out of service for 7 years to serve and this is done to ensure civilian control over the military.

phx8,

I believe his name was not attached to the spending bill after all

Actually, it was.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 9, 2016 6:11 PM
Comment #411049

Warped, National security act or not, it doesn’t make him Military. He is still a Civilian. He may have to be a CIVILIAN for 7 years before he can serve but he is still a CIVILIAN for those 7 years. Even that 7 years doesn’t mean he won’t have a heart for the Military. I’ve been out 37 years and still have a Military heart.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 9, 2016 6:44 PM
Comment #411050

P.S. Warped, Even after 7 years he may still have some ties to the military.

Posted by: RichKAPitan at December 9, 2016 7:27 PM
Comment #411053

I’m just going by what the law says, which is that you need 7 years of separation from military service in order to be eligible for Secretary of Defense. Mattis has been retired for just 3 years, so his appointment would violate the longstanding tradition of civilians running the Defense Department. Now, I don’t see a particular reason to deny Mattis a waiver in this matter, but it is an issue the Senate should scrutinize.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 10:33 AM
Comment #411054

Warped, IMO I’d rather have a man or woman who has served in the military and knows what it is like in a war zone to be Defense Sec. I agree I to do not see any reason to deny a waiver except the usual partisan BS.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 10:47 AM
Comment #411055

I’d rather NOT have someone with those experiences at the very top of the DoD considering that nearly everyone else working there has that kind of experience. Diversity of backgrounds is to be celebrated and our grandparents/great-grandparents recognized its value when they wrote the 1947 law. Mattis’ waiver should be given begrudgingly and only after proper assurance is given to convince Congress that the traditional boundaries between military and civilian are going to be respected.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 11:07 AM
Comment #411058

Warped, Seeing first hand how Civilians run the Military I do not share in your concerns. There are some things Civilians are good at but the Military is NOT one of them. Decisions still have to go through congress and the POTUS and we still have the Joint Chiefs also so IMO someone with experience in DEFENSE would be a better choice then a Novice Civilian who never Defended anything in his/her life.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 11:50 AM
Comment #411059

Ash Carter and most of his predecessors have done great work without having forged careers in the military. Congress’ war declaration authority is mighty weak these days, having been last invoked over 70 years ago, which is not an adequate check. The Joint Chiefs of Staff is where soldiers get to influence policymaking. The SoD is supposed to be a separate and independent office.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 12:40 PM
Comment #411060

To a hammer everything is a nail. Our parents and grandparents were much smarter than we are because they realized this back then. Militarizing the government is so Zeig Heil and KAP is as clueless as the Trump administration.

Keeley,in typical myopic right wing fashion, would have us believe there can be only one issue and it is the bloated military budget. The real “drain the swamp” issue Mein Trump addresses by putting generals in charge! The same generals that are the swamp.

But alas the issue Keeley discards is as important or more important than waste and fraud in the military. No civilian leadership of the military in the administration is a bad move, hell in WWII we had civilians running the war department not Generals. While I’m sure Putin would be proud of his protege, I continue to be discouraged with Trump and his plan to make America great again. I have to wonder who he is making America great for, certainly not the working man, judging by his cabinet appointments so far.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 10, 2016 12:46 PM
Comment #411061

Warped, As I said I have first hand experience with Civilians trying to run the military and while I was in they did a piss poor job. I don’t think much has changed since. Soldiers going into battle without adequate materials need to protect them such as body armour and the same to their transports. No, IMO someone who has been in the field and knows the needs should be S.o.D.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 12:59 PM
Comment #411064

j2, Never said militarize the government. Please enlighten us why a Retired General should not be S.o.D. and why that would be militarizing the government? You give examples of civilians running the show in WW2. But the fact is people back then weren’t pussies like they are today and they listened to their Generals and Admirals and didn’t let politics interfere.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 1:09 PM
Comment #411068
Never said militarize the government.

Of course you didn’t say it, neither did Trump but so what? That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening intentionally or not.

Please enlighten us why a Retired General should not be S.o.D. and why that would be militarizing the government?

First of all as Keeley has mentioned it is 3 retired Generals in 3 different positions KAP. Second the 3 positions in question are political jobs not military jobs and third what you are condoning, simply because Trump did it, is a military dictatorship. It is just one more step towards far right fascism KAP.


You give examples of civilians running the show in WW2. But the fact is people back then weren’t pussies like they are today and they listened to their Generals and Admirals and didn’t let politics interfere.

Oh Bulls**t KAP. Ask General MacArthur who the pu**ies are.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 10, 2016 2:16 PM
Comment #411072

Well j2 MacArthur served under Roosevelt and Truman both Democrats so I guess that answers your question on who the pussies are.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 3:19 PM
Comment #411073

Such an intelligent answer KAP. In fact MacArthur whined because he disagreed with policy in Korea. He of course was relieved of command. SO much for Truman being a pu**y. Truman was president and along weith his cabinet determined policy. MacArthur was a general and implemented policy, as it should be. Putting the hammer in charge of policy results in everything being nailed. A military dictatorship, which must be the opposite of being pu**ies in your world view.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 10, 2016 4:20 PM
Comment #411077

The difference j2, Truman was running the war from D.C. and MacArthur was running it from the front. Politics j2 Politics same with Nam, Politics. The A**HOLES in D.C. trying to play Politics in a War Zone and it don’t work. Iraq is a good example, instead of listening to his Generals and leaving some troops in Iraq, ISIS took over. The pussies in D.C. playing POLITICS in a war zone again.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 7:11 PM
Comment #411078

National Politics in war time kills more than just the enemy. Try and imagine the morale of those fighting when they read about and watch the second-guessing politicians spouting off for political gain.

Politicians lose winnable wars.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2016 7:32 PM
Comment #411079

Sheesh, KAP, why not just come out and say you want a military dictatorship in time of war?

Yes, we want POLITICIANS to be in control of our foreign policy, not our generals.

We had no choice about leaving Iraq. The Iranians controlled the Iraqi government, and the Iranians demanded Al-Maliki hold firm, and insist on US withdrawal as a condition for the Iranians supporting his re-election. We thought we were negotiating to stay as long as the Iraqis did not prosecute American soldiers for war crimes, but it turns out that was only an excuse. They always intended to kick us out.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2016 7:33 PM
Comment #411080

“The Iranians controlled the Iraqi government…” Source please phx8

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2016 7:39 PM
Comment #411081

This excuse of yours doesn’t justify a military dictatorship KAP. You seem to not understand the difference between implementing the war, a job of a general, and policy. I mean you are constantly calling the “bigger picture” guys pussies for doing their job as if you have no understanding that directing the battle is only part of the equation. Which also explains your narrow perspective on the positions Trump is filling with Generals. The Generals are probably the same way which is why the 1947 Act is important. Trump needs to reconsider if he truly isn’t intending on a dictatorship.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 10, 2016 7:45 PM
Comment #411082

Congrats to Army beating Navy today after fourteen years of losses.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2016 7:49 PM
Comment #411083

MacArthur wanted to use the Atomic Bomb in Korea. Thank God there was a guy running the war in DC rather than from the front or the USSR would’ve nuked us all.

RF,

To claim that the Islamic Dawa Party (including al-Maliki) were not in Iran’s pocket in 2011 is profoundly naive.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 7:57 PM
Comment #411084

Warren, get a grip…what claim? I asked for “source”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 10, 2016 8:01 PM
Comment #411085

Warped, and that guy running the war in D.C lost it Korea is still technically at war and Nam was a bust along with Iraq and Afghanistan. phx8 and j2, Not a military dictatorship just somebody that knows what they are doing instead of the sorry A**ED liberal policies we have today. If that to you 2 is a dictatorship then so be it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 8:07 PM
Comment #411086

Today, 50 million Koreans enjoy freedom and prosperity. The American homeland has not been subject to any warfare for over 70 years. 25 years ago, the nation responsible for the Korean war disintegrated. Looking at the alternatives, I really like this “losing” thing. Yeah, it is unfortunate that 25 million people continue to suffer in the PDRK, but things would not be any different if MacArthur was calling the shots.


Again, thank God nuclear weapons were not used in that conflict.

RF,

If you believe the Dawa party was controlled from Tehran, then why are you asking for a source?

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 8:28 PM
Comment #411087

“… the most powerful man in Iraq and the Middle East, Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, was about to resolve the crisis for us. Within days of Biden’s visit to Baghdad, Soleimani summoned Iraq’s leaders to Tehran. Beholden to him after decades of receiving Iran’s cash and support, the Iraqis recognized that U.S. influence in Iraq was waning as Iranian influence was surging. The Americans will leave you one day, but we will always remain your neighbors, Soleimani said, according to a former Iraqi official briefed on the meeting.

After admonishing the feuding Iraqis to work together, Soleimani dictated the outcome on behalf of Iran’s supreme leader: Maliki would remain premier; Jalal Talabani, a legendary Kurdish guerilla with decades-long ties to Iran, would remain president; and, most important, the American military would be made to leave at the end of 2011. Those Iraqi leaders who cooperated, Soleimani said, would continue to benefit from Iran’s political cover and cash payments, but those who defied the will of the Islamic Republic would suffer the most dire of consequences.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-we-stuck-with-maliki—and-lost-iraq/2014/07/03/0dd6a8a4-f7ec-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html?utm_term=.951e1b1ec4ad

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2016 8:35 PM
Comment #411088

Warped, According to Wikipedia MacArthur NEVER wanted to use the Atom Bomb but instead Truman was the person who didn’t take their use off the table for Korea. As far as Korea goes the War never was ended technically it is just a cease fire. Prosperity in the South and a Crappy life in the North.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 8:47 PM
Comment #411089

Phx8,

I am going to be honest with you. Ali Khedery paints a very unflattering portrait of US policy in Iraq from 2008-2011. He essentially claims that Iran would have never gained influence in Iraq if Obama administration officials had a better grip on Iraqi politics. Reading in between the lines, it is clear that Khedery alleges that Obama squandered the chance to renegotiate the Status of Forces Agreement in more favorable terms.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 9:08 PM
Comment #411090
He requested 34 atomic bombs. He contemplated sowing a belt of radioactive cobalt to interdict further Chinese advances. He demanded authority to blockade and bomb China and to unleash Chiang Kai-shek’s troops from Formosa (now Taiwan) against the Chinese mainland. In short, he threatened to turn the Korean War into a full-blown war against China — the outcome that civilian authorities were most determined to avoid. When Washington demurred, MacArthur publicly accused the administration of appeasement. All this was too much for Truman. On April 11, 1951, the president relieved MacArthur of his command. Truman was excoriated by the general’s legions of worshipers, but most historians have praised him for asserting the principle of civilian authority over the military.
source Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 9:38 PM
Comment #411091

WP,
Ali Khedery worked with the US from the beginning, and was certainly not an Obama supporter. Certainly some of the claims he makes are self-serving. We knew long before 2008 that Iraq was failing. And the idea that Maliki, a Shia who spent 24 years in exile in Iran and Damascus, would opt for the United States line over the Iranian one, was naïve. Nevertheless, the author makes the point I was making several times:

Maliki “abrogated the pledges he made to the United States. Per Iran’s instructions, he did not move forcefully at the end of 2011 to renew the Security Agreement, which would have permitted American combat troops to remain in Iraq.

“…Maliki’s one-man, one-Dawa-party Iraq looks a lot like Hussein’s one-man, one-Baath Party Iraq. But at least Hussein helped contain a strategic American enemy: Iran. And Washington didn’t spend $1 trillion propping him up. There is not much “democracy” left if one man and one party with close links to Iran control the judiciary, police, army, intelligence services, oil revenue, treasury and the central bank. Under these circumstances, renewed ethno-sectarian civil war in Iraq was not a possibility. It was a certainty…

The crisis now gripping Iraq and the Middle East was not only predictable but predicted — and preventable. By looking the other way and unconditionally supporting and arming Maliki, President Obama has only lengthened and expanded the conflict that President Bush unwisely initiated. Iraq is now a failed state, and as countries across the Middle East fracture along ethno-sectarian lines, America is likely to emerge as one of the biggest losers of the new Sunni-Shiite holy war, with allies collapsing and radicals plotting another 9/11.

Maliki’s most ardent American supporters ignored the warning signs and stood by as an Iranian general decided Iraq’s fate in 2010.”

This was written in 2014. Once ISIS took off, Iran, the Iraqi government, and the US quietly began coordinating their efforts.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2016 9:50 PM
Comment #411092

Warped, In all the stuff I have read in the last few hours of Google search, no where do I find the BULLS**T you have written about MacArthur. I find that 9 Atomic bombs where to be issued to military control but it took Truman’s approval and I find in all of the things I have read that it was Truman NOT MacArthur who never took the use of Nuclear off the table. Yes MacArthur did want to bomb bridges between China and N. Korea possibly with Nucs but it was shot down. Yes MacArthur did see China as a threat as did Patton with Russia and we see today that both of those Generals were correct in their feelings. Both Generals were fired for their expression of those feelings.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 10:20 PM
Comment #411093

Warped, From Wikipedia, Press Conference Nov. 30, 1950.
Mr. President, I wonder if we could retrace that reference to the Atomic Bomb? Do we understand you clearly that the use of the Atomic Bomb is under active consideration?
Truman, Always has been. It’s one of our weapons.
They also ask about targets and he says it is up to the military. There were other things written but it all boils down to Truman not being innocent of the use of Nucs. giving MacArthur the possible green light to use them. Truman, like most politicians fired MacArthur to cover his own A** probably after a second thought on their use.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 10:53 PM
Comment #411094
the idea that Maliki, a Shia who spent 24 years in exile in Iran and Damascus, would opt for the United States line over the Iranian one, was naïve
If I am to take Ali Khedery at his word, it was the Obama administration in particular that was infected by this naïveté. Hence, passages such as this:
relations between America’s diplomatic and military leadership — so strong in the Crocker-Petraeus era, and so crucial to curtailing Maliki’s worst tendencies and keeping the Iraqis moving forward — had collapsed. Maliki’s police state grew stronger by the day.

Ali Khedery claims he pleaded to have Maliki sacked in 2010, only to be rebuffed by Joe Biden. Without a doubt, this isn’t the whole story given the obvious incentive for safeguarding the author’s own reputation. Indeed, there were futile attempts to thread that needle.

This was written in 2014. Once ISIS took off, Iran, the Iraqi government, and the US quietly began coordinating their efforts.
It was written just days after Mosul fell to DAESH when Emperor Maliki’s lack of clothes finally became apparent to most people in DC.

Ultimately, it seems quite clear that Obama wanted a new SOFA in order to station about 10k troops in Iraq. However, he lost the game of internal Iraqi political chess that would’ve let him do that. And with that, Iraq’s fate was sealed. Most of the blame certainly falls on Bush’s shoulders for starting this mess and Aliki for making it worse, but I won’t hold Obama blameless here.

KAP,
No need to waste your time with incompetent googling, I provided a link to a source in my previous comment. MacArthur wanted to use the bomb against China + Korea. Privately, Truman insisted that such measures were off the table even if he publicly claimed that everything was under consideration.

MacArthur was a brilliant military tactician, but a terrible political strategist. His ill-thought venture to the Yalu river unncessarily brought the PLA into the conflict and his proposed “solution” would have endangered American interests worldwide.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 10, 2016 11:00 PM
Comment #411095

Warped, MacArthur couldn’t use the Atomic bomb unless POTUS gave the go ahead. How was he going to get 34 bombs without Truman’s knowledge? Back in the 50’s the Atomic bomb wasn’t just laying around for any high ranking officer to use. My incompetent source you say? So your incompetent source is better then my incompetent source? Just admit it Warped you may be wrong.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 10, 2016 11:13 PM
Comment #411098

Good grief.

MacArthur couldn’t use the Atomic bomb unless POTUS gave the go ahead

That is exactly my point. The tradition of civilian control over the military spared us the would-be disastrous consequences of MacArthur’s “leadership”. *Drops Mike*

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 11, 2016 11:25 AM
Comment #411099

Warped, The point I’m making is Truman had thoughts about the use of the Atomic bomb in Korea. It wasn’t just MacArthur. So your civilian control spared us issue doesn’t fly. POTUS can give the order to use Nucs. but a diligent Admiral or General may counterman that order if he feels POTUS may be wrong.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2016 12:03 PM
Comment #411100

… and we’re still at war with N. Korea. *picks up mic and places it in it’s proper place*

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2016 12:32 PM
Comment #411101

Warped, We aren’t South Korea is TECHNICALLY!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 11, 2016 12:38 PM
Comment #411104
July 27, 1953 - Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (north), Chinese People’s Volunteers and the UN sign an armistice agreement. The Republic of Korea refuses to sign. However, hostilities cease within 12 hours.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/28/world/asia/korean-war-fast-facts/


No peace treaty was signed which means that the Korean War has not officially ended.

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


Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2016 4:18 PM
Comment #411105

June 30, 1950 - Truman orders ground troops into action.


.., the existence of a state of war brings into play certain indefinite but nevertheless extensive powers enjoyed by the President in his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy or implied from other duties imposed on the Chief Executive by the Constitution. The latter powers, derived from the Constitution, cannot be conferred by Congress, nor could justification for their exercise probably be found other than in time of war or threat of war.

http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1940091200


Since we’re still at war with N. Korea, the statutes passed by congress at that time are still in effect. Shouldn’t we be finding out what those statutes are and what effects they had on the powers of the President as commander in chief?

How can we really know we’re not living in a military dictatorship already if we’ve been conditioned to think the atmosphere of said military dictatorship is normal?

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2016 4:19 PM
Comment #411106

Stockholm syndrome

.. is a psychological condition that causes hostages to develop sympathetic sentiments towards their captors, often sharing their opinions and acquiring romantic feelings for them as a survival strategy during captivity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome


Posted by: Weary Willie at December 11, 2016 4:28 PM
Comment #411114
The point I’m making is Truman had thoughts about the use of the Atomic bomb in Korea.

Policy, the president and his cabinet of advisers determine policy. Having thoughts is the appropriate task of the policy maker.

POTUS can give the order to use Nucs. but a diligent Admiral or General may counterman that order if he feels POTUS may be wrong.

Yet POTUS relieved the diligent General of command! Why? For trying to determine policy which is what you are saying here. The job of the general is to implement the policy not decide if it is good policy. The guy we vote into office is the will of the people and decides policy. The general is appointed to command not elected. We are not a military dictatorship that has Generals determining both policy and implementation of policy. That is why Trumps choices point to dictatorship, his naive choices are foolish I wonder what Putin is up to with his puppet?

BTW when has this diligent General scenario ever happened in this country?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 12, 2016 11:23 AM
Comment #411118

j2, Whatever you are smoking or whatever kool aid you are drinking I think it’s time to quit. Generals and Admirals are to advise strategies in time of war to the civilian leadership. Now the civilian leadership can take it or leave it but we saw what leaving it did in Iraq and Nam.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 12, 2016 1:30 PM
Comment #411119

There will be no ‘dictatorship.’
There will be no ‘Fascism.’
There will be no ‘white supremacy’ sweeping the nation and its government.
The left has truly gone off the deep end with all this nonsense.

The funny thing about all of this BS is that IF it were to actually come true, the lefts only hope will come from people they have mocked and hated for the last ten years: those on the right.

Posted by: kctim at December 12, 2016 1:32 PM
Comment #411122
Generals and Admirals are to advise strategies in time of war to the civilian leadership. Now the civilian leadership can take it or leave it

Exactly! It is very dangerous to have the Generals and Admirals making policy, which is why James Mattis’ SoD nomination requires extra scrutiny.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 12, 2016 3:31 PM
Comment #411123

Warped, Never said Generals and Admirals should make policy. James Mattis is a RETIRED General emphasis on RETIRED making him a CIVILIAN emphasis on CIVILIAN. He is a CIVILIAN now period. He is “X” military emphasis on “X”.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 12, 2016 4:00 PM
Comment #411128

“Most of the blame certainly falls on Bush’s shoulders for starting this mess and Aliki for making it worse, but I won’t hold Obama blameless here.”

I mostly concur Warren.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 12, 2016 5:02 PM
Comment #411140
j2, Whatever you are smoking or whatever kool aid you are drinking I think it’s time to quit. Generals and Admirals are to advise strategies in time of war to the civilian leadership.

KAP finally you are coming around, whew it sure took a while. Yes one of the functions of Generals is to strategize in times of war. That is not policy that is implementing the war.

The problem Trump is creating is instead of draining the swamp he is dredging up old recently retired Generals and putting them in cabinet positions as policy makers.

We have a history of civilian control of government, Trump wants to change this long history. Think about a general as head of homeland security. Zeig Heil my friend.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 13, 2016 12:34 AM
Comment #411143

j2, NEWS FLASH, retired Generals are CIVILIANS.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 7:29 AM
Comment #411145

He knows that KAP. He just needs to ignore it to keep his ‘Trump is ignoring history and installing generals for his fascist state’ conspiracy theory going.

Posted by: kctim at December 13, 2016 9:15 AM
Comment #411147

kctim,

Mattis’ waiver deserves scrutiny, no? That is all j2t2 and I are asking for. Mattis’ 3 years of retired life makes no difference to the LAW which requires the Secretary of Defence to have a much larger separation from time spent wearing the uniform.

As a comparison, when Thein Sein resigned his Generalship in 2010, it did not mean Myanmar’s military dictatorship was over yet. That didn’t happen until Aung San Suu Kyi and her compatriots won last year’s election and finally established civilian control over the government.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 10:18 AM
Comment #411150

Warren,
There is a huge difference between asking for proper scrutiny and claiming this is some kind of attempt to “militarize the government.”
For Pete sakes man, some people are acting like he is active duty.

Posted by: kctim at December 13, 2016 10:46 AM
Comment #411151

To all the liberal/progressive on W.B., RETIRED means you are no longer MILITARY, you are a CIVILIAN. We have had Presidents who were Generals, did the government become Militarized then? NO IT DID NOT. Paranoia must run in liberals.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 10:59 AM
Comment #411153

KAP and kctim. Established law says you are wrong, you and Trump. Of course you both know that yet cannot stop defending Trump..because… well it’s not fascism when you do it right.

Look back 8 years ago when you guys were thinking Obama was a Muslim and was gonna make Sharia law the law of the land. With not one fact to base it on. Here we have Trump attempting to appoint Generals to civilian positions violating the law. That is the first step in a military dictatorship from within. Yet you guys, oh crap… Zeig Heil Mein Trump.


Posted by: j2t2 at December 13, 2016 11:08 AM
Comment #411154

What law, J2, says that a retired general is still military and not a civilian?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 11:13 AM
Comment #411155
claiming this is some kind of attempt to “militarize the government.”

I think we both know j2t2 likes to sensationalize his language in a certain way. I never assume everything he writes is meant to be taken literally.

I think Mattis will do a decent job as Defense Secretary, but the nomination deserves scrutiny. If we rubber stamp this, then it sets a slippery slope precedent a few decades from now when an active duty general wants to be in the cabinet.

To all the liberal/progressive on W.B., RETIRED means you are no longer MILITARY, you are a CIVILIAN. We have had Presidents who were Generals, did the government become Militarized then? NO IT DID NOT. Paranoia must run in liberals.

KAP,

Can you please shut up? We already know James Mattis is retired. I said as much back in comment #411040. The point is that the LAW requires a gap longer than three years. For the purpose of the law, Mattis is not considered a civilian. AFAIK, he is treated no different than an active duty general. The matter deserves extra scrutiny, but should not be a barrier in of itself.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 11:17 AM
Comment #411156
What law, J2, says that a retired general is still military and not a civilian?

The 1947 National Security Act says the Secretary of Defense must be appointed “from civilian life”. It goes on to define that to exclude anyone “within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force.”

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 11:23 AM
Comment #411158

OR A WAIVER FROM THE SENATE, Warped. WHY DON’T YOU SHUT UP. The law requires a WAIVER from the senate if less then 7 years. WAIVER, WAIVER, WAIVER Warped.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 11:35 AM
Comment #411162

Can you stop making a fool of yourself? Comments #411034 and #411040 clearly indicate that I am aware that with a waiver from the Senate, James Mattis can circumvent the ‘47 NSA and become Defense Secretary despite not being a civilian.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 12:43 PM
Comment #411166

J2,
I’m not exactly sure how established law can say I am wrong when I haven’t questioned the law. The law says what it does and it also allows for a waiver. If he is granted a waiver, no law has been violated.
Our military generals are some of our nations best and brightest individuals, and for you to use them for crazy a$$ conspiracy theories is pretty sad.

Also, I have never stated that “Obama was a Muslim and was gonna make Sharia law the law of the land.” I have never questioned his citizenship or his legitimacy to be President. So when you are wrong and feel the need to resort to hyperbole, please try to base it on at a little bit of truth.

Posted by: kctim at December 13, 2016 1:55 PM
Comment #411167

Warped, He is a CIVILIAN he has retired from military service. He no longer answers to the president or SoD. The only ones he answers to is God and his wife. All because the law states he has to wait 7 years or get a waiver it does not make him still Military. So quit making a fool of yourself by thinking he is still military.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 2:09 PM
Comment #411189

KAP,
You just like to argue, don’t you?

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 8:21 PM
Comment #411190

Warped, Only when I know the person I’m arguing with knows nothing about the subject as in Mattis being a Civilian now that he is RETIRED from the Military. Just because the law says he has to wait 7 years from the time he leaves the service or get a waiver does NOT mean he is still part of the Military. Only a person who knows NOTHING about the Military would think otherwise, Warped.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 8:46 PM
Comment #411193
does NOT mean he is still part of the Military

I said “not a civilian”, but I never said “still part of the military” and there is a difference. The law says the SoD must be a civilian and then it defines civilian to exclude people like Fmr Gen Mattis.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 10:14 PM
Comment #411194

Warped, Not a Civilian????? He’s not military either. I was part of the military does that make me not a civilian? Warped your thinking is STUPID, he is a civilian and became one the day he retired from the USMC and drove out the main gate of the base he was attached to as does anyone who retires from the military. The law says he must be no longer Military for at least 7 years or get a waiver from the senate.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 10:29 PM
Comment #411197

Man, you love to split hairs. I dunno what point you are trying to make. It doesn’t change the fact that Mattis doesn’t qualify as a civilian according to the ‘47 NSA.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 11:01 PM
Comment #411199

Warped, Doesn’t qualify as a civilian? Yes he does qualify as a civilian, he just hasn’t been a civilian long enough to hold an office like SoD without a wavier from the Senate according to the 47 NSA, but he still is a civilian from the day he retired from the USMC. Doesn’t qualify as a civilian, LOLOL, how STUPID. The point I am making, Warped, is that the law says he has to be a CIVILIAN for 7 years, he has been a CIVILIAN for only 3 years so he needs a wavier to be SoD, you have been saying he is not a CIVILIAN and I have been saying he is.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 13, 2016 11:34 PM
Comment #411200

Whatever. I wonder what you gained from this exercise.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 13, 2016 11:40 PM
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