Transforming the U.S. Military; How Obama Uses the Sequestration to Cashier Senior Officers and Remake the Armed Forces in His Image

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 13, 2013 | Go to article overview

Transforming the U.S. Military; How Obama Uses the Sequestration to Cashier Senior Officers and Remake the Armed Forces in His Image


Byline: J.D. Gordon, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

What in the world is happening to senior military officers under the Obama administration?

It seems that every week since President Obama took office in 2009, we've been hearing that another top leader has been summarily fired, despite his decades of loyal service and valuable experience in protecting the nation. Statistically speaking, it's actually closer to one every 8.8 days, a staggering 200 military brass shown the door in less than five years.

The Pentagon has offered up a grab bag of reasons for these dismissals - from a simple loss of confidence, to more descriptive insensitive remarks, "sexual misconduct "and even"counterfeit poker chips."

The latest two to fall from grace, Navy Vice Adm. Ted Twig Branch, director of naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, director of intelligence operations, were stripped of their security clearances last week, effectively ending their careers. They allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct over a Navy contracting scandal related to scheduling port visits in Southeast Asia during the past decade. According to Navy officials, the probe into Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia is expected to widen - meaning, we'll likely see other senior officers terminated in the weeks ahead.

Though firing senior military leaders was routine in different eras, including World War II and the Civil War, it was mostly related to lack of success on the battlefield. The battlefield has changed considerably since then, though, and those same metrics are harder to measure today.

What's going on now? Is this really the most incompetent and corrupt military we've ever seen? Or is it just easier these days to get hammered for real or perceived bad behavior and poor performance?

Some of our most revered and successful Army leaders during World War II, Gens. Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton, all had mistresses - yet in those days, such indiscretions were not public issues like today. Patton even reportedly boasted about an affair with his wife's half-niece. It's doubtful that would remain under wraps today, nor should it.

Personal indiscretions past and present notwithstanding, perhaps something even more sinister is going on today.

With massive defense-budget cuts amounting to $1 trillion planned over the next decade including sequestration, a shrinking military that includes axing 10 percent of flag and general officer positions worldwide, and 20 percent of headquarters positions at the Pentagon and top operational combatant commands, it seems entirely plausible that the steady stream of firings plays into the Obama administration strategy of military attrition. …

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