Trump Delegates Warmaking to Generals
by Stephen Lendman
Articles in the Atlantic and Wall Street Journal discussed Trump's approach to militarism and warmaking.
He's letting hawkish generals make battlefield decisions - overseen by Defense Secretary Mattis, National Security Advisor McMaster and Joint Chiefs chairman Dunford.
Last month, the Atlantic headlined "Trump and the Generals," saying the president "is fixated on a more conspicuous form of winning." Earlier he said "(w)e never win…(W)e don't fight to win."
Generals always want more funding. No matter the amount budgeted, it's not enough. Trump proposed an additional $54 billion for the next fiscal year.
Inadequate, according to Pentagon commanders, waging forever wars "against a multi-general ideological war of ideas that goes far beyond the military battlefield," said the Atlantic.
They complain about Trump's "unpredictability" even though he's giving them free reign over battlefield decisions, including drone strikes and special operations missions in countries where America is not officially at war.
On April 14, the Wall Street Journal headlined "Trump Gives Generals More Freedom on ISIS Fight," saying:
The president "urges them to make more battlefield decisions on their own." On Friday, an unnamed senior Defense Department official said "(t)here is a sense among…commanders that they are able to do…more - and so they are."
"They complained about Obama administration micromanagement. Now they're acting more on their own."
They're "being encouraged to stretch the limits of their existing authorities when needed, but to think seriously about the consequences of their decisions."
Trump administration militarism and warmaking are more "muscular," diplomacy getting "short shrift."
Last week, US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) commander General John Nicholson, Jr. allegedly used the Pentagon's Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAD) on his own.
More likely, along with aggression on Syria, it was a Defense Department message to North Korea, Syria, Russia, China, and other US adversaries, indicating America's willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve military and geopolitical objectives - not part of waging war on ISIS, a US creation it supports.
The Journal cited an unnamed senior administration official, saying Trump didn't know about MOAB's use until after it was dropped, adding:
Mattis "is telling them, 'it's not the same as it was. You don't have to ask us before you drop a MOAB.' "
"Technically there's no piece of paper that says you have to ask the president to drop a MOAB. But last year this time, the way (things were) meant, 'I'm going to drop a MOAB, better let the White House know.'"
Pentagon and intelligence community power holds the Trump administration, Congress and the courts hostage. Diplomacy is inconsequential, for show only. Tillerson has no say over geopolitical policymaking.
A nuclear war could start without Trump, civilian cabinet members, and congressional leaders' knowledge and involvement until they're told.
With Pentagon commanders and intelligence community bosses in charge of warmaking and other key geopolitical issues, a potential nightmarish scenario could unfold.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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