Who Is The Commander In Chief Of Us Military Forces

Who Is The Commander In Chief Of Us Military Forces – US President Donald Trump walks past members of the United States Coast Guard as he leaves the opening ceremony for the US Coast Guard Academy on the 17th. May 2017 in New London, Connecticut. Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The US military is making decisions about many lives or deaths without the inclusion of the most important person: President of the United States.

Who Is The Commander In Chief Of Us Military Forces

In Trump’s first term, the United States carried out drone strikes in Yemen and special operations raids where the Navy SEAL was killed, dropping the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan. Thursday attacks Assad forces in Syria. What all these military operations have in common is that none of them require the consent of General Donald Trump.

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Why? Because he did not feel the need for his approval, and because his predecessors controlled the Pentagon to dangerous levels.

Trump’s closed-handed approach – allowing battlefield commanders to make daily decisions that affect US foreign policy and national security – is a major shift in the way the US war is fought. The Pentagon now does not require a presidential signature, as military commanders believe action is necessary. That is potentially good news for a general who feels disturbed by the Obama administration, but there are clear risks for both Trump and the United States.

“The conflict is more complicated than it seems,” said Janine Davidson, a former naval deputy secretary. “You can blow things up … but where does everything end?”

For the incumbent president with the “America First” worldview, announcing on the White House website that the United States “does not go abroad to seek the enemy,” he gave the Pentagon free to go out and search – and destroy. .

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When the “mother of all bombs” was dropped on an ISIS cave in Afghanistan on April 13, killing dozens of militants, most focused on the sheer size of the weapons. After all, it is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever to fight.

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It turns out that Trump did not order a major attack at all. It was called in by General John Nicholson, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Nicholson said he had a specific “latitude” to drop the bomb and just needed to inform the White House that a strike was imminent. He was right.

When the dust cleared, Trump was asked by reporters why the bomb was dropped without him saying so. His response highlighted changes in US military affairs (emphasis added):

“What I do is I allow my military. … We have the greatest military in the world and they do their job as usual. We have given them total permission and that is what they are doing. Frankly, that is why they have been so successful recently.

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On the other hand, Trump does not feel he has to be involved in military decisions for life or death. He intended to leave it to the commander who fought on behalf of the United States.

Indeed, after last Friday’s press conference with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and head of the anti-ISIS coalition Brett McGurk, a senior US military official considered Trump’s strategy against ISIS as a “delegation.” And destroy, ”reports Defense One.

If it all seems like a strange position for Trump to accept, it is because it is. During the presidential campaign, he said he knew more about ISIS than the generals. Pressing on that comment by CBS’s John Dickerson, Trump doubled down, claiming, “[t] Hey, I don’t know much because they did not win.”

“Under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Generals has been reduced to rubble, reduced to a point that is embarrassing for our country,” Trump said in front of a room of veterans and active members.

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NBC’s Matt Lauer suppressed him in the comments, and Trump’s response expressed his “I have great faith in the military, great faith in some commanders.”

Trump also told Dickerson, “[i] If we have a leader, that means moving forward, you can get rid of [IS] quickly.

In Trump’s mind, the Obama White House destroyed US military leadership. What they especially need to defeat ISIS is a president who is determined to release them and let them do whatever they think is necessary to win.

Well, that’s what seems to be happening in Afghanistan. Nicholson saw ISIS cave buildings feel the need to be destroyed and used the weapons he deemed appropriate to do so. And that is his call to action since the president has already given his blankets “permission” and “forward”.

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Trump will have no other way. Surrounded by “My General” when he called Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, both retired Marines Trump wanted to pursue a “alpha man” foreign policy, as White House National Security Assistant Seb Gorka defined the approach. Of the administration. .

And why is that? Trump may paint himself a stubborn person, but he does not want to be responsible if something goes wrong.

Trump seems to err on the side of his “absolute consent” position, which will rid him of the blame if something goes wrong. President Harry Truman once said “buck stops here” means that all credit – good or bad – fell on him as president.

That’s not the way Trump sees it. One of the military actions Trump carried out after military officials explained his plans to him was a special operation in Yemen on January 29 targeting al Qaeda leaders. Twenty-three civilians were killed, including women and children, as well as senior officials. Capt. William “Ryan” Owens, US Navy

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The president was not responsible for the deaths. Instead, he declared, “They have lost Ryan,” blaming the army for allegedly ending the mission. (He also claimed that plans for the raid “began before I got here.” That’s true – the Obama administration planned.

Trump is trying to have it both ways. He has been credited with success, such as bombing in Afghanistan, and he has been blamed for bad things like in Yemen.

Another responsibility he is taking on is the country’s top national security strategist. After all, it is the president’s job to lead the government, including the Pentagon, outlining US goals in the world.

But the more he gives power to the military, the less he talks about the strategic direction that the United States is leading.

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“A model of allowing a general to do what you want to do if you sit down and have a clear understanding of issues, strategic objectives, and how the military can move forward,” Davidson believes. But the president does not seem to care at all, and it puts the United States at a disadvantage.

Davidson’s point was highlighted by last Thursday’s attack in Syria. The United States has attacked a convoy of Assad forces en route to At Tanf. It was at that base that the United States trained the rebels to fight Assad.

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The second attack on Syria – which took place after the April 6, Trump-authorized set of airstrikes on which Assad launched a chemical weapons attack – could be mistaken for a switch. Policies from trying to defeat ISIS to trying to oust Assad.

Trump has not yet decided which action he would like to take, and it has led to US Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson giving two different explanations as to whether the United States plans to remove Assad. No.

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But Mattis said the Syrian attack should not be interpreted as a change in policy. “We are not increasing our role in the Syrian civil war,” he told reporters after the attack. “But we will defend our army.”

Does the president really have to give consent in such cases? As a former Congressman and Secretary of the U.S. Army, John McHugh told me in an interview that our enemies have shown “great flexibility” to harm us, and so it’s good that the US Armed Forces There is “strategic freedom” to respond properly. “Very few presidents get into small decisions,” he said.

So the United States attacked Assad’s forces to protect US troops in At Tanf. That’s good and good. But here’s the problem: The commander’s decision to attack Assad’s convoy raised questions about a change in US policy. That’s a difficult place that America does not have to enter.

If Trump has already shown a strategy, the commander will know whether an attack on Assad – raising the fair perception that the United States is fighting the regime – is appropriate.

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To be fair, tensions between civilian strategic directions and military decisions are always there. Lt. Gen. David Barno, a senior U.S. commander and coalition force in Afghanistan, noted that “commanders need the ability to make decisions on the ground” and require a “reasonable level of flexibility”. If the president continues, he will “lose sight of his responsibility to implement the strategy.”

John Craddock, a retired four-star general and former NATO commander, is on the other side of the talks. He told

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