Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Who's in charge of our military?

With Obama in office and in his first week signing an executive order closing GITMO, as well as an order limiting CIA officials to interrogation techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual - one would think 'hey, America's back!'

But the neoconservatives who have entrenched themselves amongst the higher ranks of the military orders are not giving up so easily. According to the Huffington Post, the Supreme Nato Commander - General John Craddock - has come under scrutiny from his subordinates and alliance member states because of his barbaric tactics and one order in particular.

The Craddock Order literally granted a license to kill civilians to every NATO soldier under his command and required the soldiers to perpetrate a massacre of Afghani civilians who were merely 'suspected' of involvement in the drug trade.

The German Magazine Der Spiegel is reporting now that the objections of the German Military and Government, as well as of US Commander General McKiernan, have finally been taken seriously. General Craddock has rescinded his barbaric order. And soon Craddock may be out himself as reported by Der Spiegel:
But it may soon be Craddock himself in the hot seat. Already, there are those in NATO headquarters in Brussels, as well as in the alliance's military headquarters in Mons, who are speculating about "the last days of Craddock." Hardly anyone believes that the "hard-core Rumsfeld man," as some refer to him, will make it to the end of his term of service this summer. Craddock is seen as a leftover of the George W. Bush administration. It is seen as likely that his defeat in the just-ended dispute among NATO generals will speed his departure.
There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including Gen. Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun to try to pressure Obama to change his withdrawal policy.

A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilising public opinion against Obama's decision.

This networked plan includes
The assertion that Obama's withdrawal policy threatens the gains allegedly won by the Bush surge and Petraeus's strategy in Iraq will apparently be the theme of the campaign that military opponents are now planning.
and there's more....

Keane, the Army Vice-Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2003, has ties to a network of active and retired four-star Army generals, and since Obama's Jan. 21 order on the 16-month withdrawal plan, some of the retired four-star generals in that network have begun discussing a campaign to blame Obama's troop withdrawal from Iraq for the ultimate collapse of the political "stability" that they expect to follow U.S. withdrawal, according to a military source familiar with the network's plans.
The source says the network, which includes senior active duty officers in the Pentagon, will begin making the argument to journalists covering the Pentagon that Obama's withdrawal policy risks an eventual collapse in Iraq. That would raise the political cost to Obama of sticking to his withdrawal policy.
If Obama does not change the policy, according to the source, they hope to have planted the seeds of a future political narrative blaming his withdrawal policy for the "collapse" they expect in an Iraq without U.S. troops.
That line seems likely to appeal to reporters covering the Iraq troop withdrawal issue. Ever since Obama's inauguration, media coverage of the issue has treated Obama' s 16-month withdrawal proposal as a concession to anti-war sentiment which will have to be adjusted to the "realities" as defined by the advice to Obama from Gates, Petreaus and Odierno.

The entire article is worth a read. One of the most interesting and sad part about these developments is that Mr. Obama is the President, he's the commander-in-chief. Folks in the military can grouse, but when the commander gives an order you get in line and do it. The military in this country has been enabled... some would argue (correctly) since the inception of the cold war. Prior to the cold war the military was not a specific interest competing for a majority of our federal budget, but in fact a specific disinterest - the military served, it's commanders issued orders not conspiracy theories. It really makes one look at General Petreaus in a different light and wonder if in fact the move on ad wasn't so extreme?

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