Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Mismanages the Military the Best?

The Republicans love to think of themselves as being better at the kinetic side of foreign policy--that they listen to the military and are more sensitive to what the officers think.

But the current crop of candidates and other folks assert a few things:
  • Obama is losing Iraq.  
  • Time to attack Iran.
 You are not going to find too many senior officers who buy into either of these.  Yesterday, Senator McCain made the usual accusations about Iraq but got pushback from SecDef Panetta and Chairman Dempsey.  But the Republicans will ignore the inconvenient reality that the military does not want to be in the business of occupying Iraq--which is what it would require to have sizable forces in Iraq without the permission of the government of Iraq .

Most military folks also see that an attack upon Iran would be far from seizing low hanging fruit and that the consequences would be pretty darned complicated.  So, the GOP is not listening to these folks.

It is funny because I was so struck in 2001 that the uniformed folks in the Pentagon longed for the Clinton administration.  I thought this might because they had "rolled" a set of politicians that were weak on defense issues, but, in retrospect, there is something more than that going on.  After all, the Clinton folks got a reluctant military to be engaged in Yugoslavia's demise not once but twice (but perhaps avoided a third time).  These were not activities that the military wanted.  BUT the Clinton Administration and the Obama Administration actually listened to the military, even if occasionally over-ruling their advice. 

I can only imagine that these officers are looking at the current crop of Republican candidates and are pondering: deja vu all over again?

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