The current tension between the White House and the Pentagon is likely made worse by the President’s tendency to plan, and act, on the basis of how he believes the world and reality should react to whatever it is that he proposes. He frequently finds it difficult to accept that the world, reality and most especially our enemies, rarely react as he would prefer.
As Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Obama seems to expect that he can give an order to the military and hear only “Sir, yes, Sir!” in response. To Obama, any other response, oh, say something that might sound similar to “Are you nuts?” is nothing less than treason.
He tends to view our military members as mindless automatons who are incapable of understanding his intellectual abilities, so discussion of alternatives would be, to him (and his various consiglieri such as Valerie Jarett, Susan Rice and Susan Powers) a waste of his time.
If his orders, without such a discussion and compromise, lead almost inevitably to increasing American casualties, the ladies and gentlemen in the Pentagon – you know, the ones with all the stars on their shoulders – would feel duty bound to object.
Apparently, from press reports, Barack Obama intends to emulate Lyndon Johnson’s prosecution of the war in Vietnam in that Obama plans to micro-manage every bombing mission, every assault and every attack in the same way that he currently micro-manages drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Yemen, Somalia and where ever targets might appear. It would seem that his success in killing terrorists (and non-terrorists in close proximity to the target), via these drone strikes, has given the President the belief that he actually understands combat, and how it should be conducted.
But both the White House and the Pentagon are being, in the words of Elmer Fudd, “vewy, vewy quiet” about the poison pill that can undo whatever strategy that ultimately develops. What poison pill? Well, how are we supposed to implement any strategy, no matter who dreams it up, if there is no military?
Unlike Vietnam, we now have the ideal of the politically correct Progressives. We now have an all-volunteer military.
The funny thing about an all-volunteer military is that the men and women on the front lines may not choose to re-enlist. Any use of coercion to keep these military personnel in the services beyond the expiration of their contracts will cause a lot of them to contact a lawyer to fight being sent one more time into danger in the Middle East. And since this administration has been very busy appointing liberal-Progressive judges all over the country, there is a good chance that the men and women who are saying “Enough! I’ve had all the fun I can stand” will find a sympathetic ear sitting on the judicial bench.
News reports of a rift between the White House and the Pentagon might result in a significant reduction of young men and women who are willing to risk their lives at the orders of an unwilling President.
Couple this exodus of experienced personnel, with a significant drop in new enlistments, and Mr. Obama can give any orders he wants, and the Pentagon can only ask one question: “Just who are we supposed to use to carry out those orders, Mr. President?”
Once again, our gifted President will find that reality doesn’t always conform to what he believes it should. And I can’t imagine any member of Congress would be willing to vote to reinstitute the draft. And there will be only one person to blame – the President.
In a perverse way, it should be highly entertaining watching Barack Obama try to twist and wriggle out of responsibility for what is clearly no one else’s fault.