Friday, June 29, 2018

Is It Wrong If President Trump Admires The Military?

President Trump with members of the U.S. military at the ”Celebration of America” event on the South Lawn of the White House on June 5.CreditKevin Lamarque/Reuters

Gary J. Bass, New York Times: Should We Worry About Trump’s Fawning Admiration of the Military?

In his short time in office, President Trump has surrounded himself with senior military officers and expressed unquestioning admiration for the armed forces, even going so far as to propose a military parade on Veterans Day — something more typical of Beijing or Moscow. Should we be worried?

The best answer can be found in a book by Samuel Huntington that came out more than six decades ago. When most people think of Huntington, they remember his book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” or perhaps his hostility to Latino immigration in his latter years, but they would be far better off reading “The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations.” First published in 1957, it is by far the most influential book on the subject — and itself a source of no small controversy.

Ambitious and deftly written, “The Soldier and the State” is an argument for civilian mastery over a professional military. For Huntington, modern military officers were like doctors or lawyers, with a specific professional expertise: managing violence. Whether in the United States or even the Soviet Union, their proper ethic was realistic, conservative and prudent, more wary of going to war than their reckless or crusading civilian masters.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Politics and the military .... from my perspective .... have always walked hand in hand. As a student of U.S. history I have come across many instances where Presidents have used the military to provide cover and/or support for a government policy or agenda. Is this wrong .... we can have a debate on that. But in the end the military and their political masters are always subservient to the will of the people .... and in this regard U.S. democratic institutions have performed admirably in making sure that the military does not become an instrument for a President to preserve his political position and legacy ... or vice-versa. To put it bluntly, in the end we can always vote them out. But on a side note .... while I do agree with Gary Bass' legitimate concerns on the role of the military and how politicians can use them .... I think he is missing the bigger picture. As we learned from the U.S. Justice Department's Inspector General report .... we now have tangible evidence that senior FBI officials felt it was their duty to "stop Trump". The focus by the New York Times should be on these agencies, and how deep was the previous administration involvement in supporting their actions to influence an incoming administration .... and not on a hypothetical concern over President Trump's love of the military.


Anonymous said...

Strangely the NYT never pondered if Obama's contempt for the military was wrong? Nor Hillary's well documented history of contempt for the military.

Just odd that from the self styled paper of record.

Unknown said...
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B.Poster said...

Given that so many top military officials want to work in the Trump Administration, it seems the admiration appears to go both ways.

fred said...

I will continue to read the NY Times rather than NY Post and listen to CNN rather than Fox..but you do what satisfies your needs