Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Obama Executes Another General

First General Petraeus gets offed in a honey-pot "scandal", then we learn that Obama ordered the immediate removal of Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette from his command of the powerful Carrier Strike Group Three (CSG-3)in the Middle East, while Army General Carter Ham, commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), was abruptly relieved, for perhaps giving the order to "assist and provide intelligence for” American military forces prepping to assist the Libyan consulate on September 11th, 2012.  (See here for more information on these three dismissals).

But there was still dissent in the ranks, so the bloodshed must continue.  Obama, who values yes-men above all else, just axed one of America's few remaining highly-respected generals for...asking too many of the wrong questions. General James Mattis, time to be a good soldier and place your head in this here noose: was announced that Gen. Mattis would be leaving his post in March, well short of what would be expected of a combatant commander whose has acquitted himself well in the position. Most observers were stunned. There seemed to be no logical reason for his being replaced early. But according to Tom Ricks’s blog, The Best Defense, at FP online:

Word on the national security street is that General James Mattis is being given the bum's rush out of his job as commander of Central Command, and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way -- not because he went all "mad dog," which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, "And then what?"

Inquiry along these lines apparently was not welcomed -- at least in the CENTCOM view. The White House view, apparently, is that Mattis was too hawkish, which is not something I believe, having seen him in the field over the years. I'd call him a tough-minded realist, someone who'd rather have tea with you than shoot you, but is happy to end the conversation either way.

A particular point of disagreement was what to do about mischief Iran is exporting to other countries. Mattis is indeed more hawkish on this than the White House was.

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon in particular was irked by Mattis's insistence on being heard. I cringe when I hear about civilians shutting down strategic discussions...

The White House responded to Ricks’s blog post on Mattis but Ricks was unimpressed: The response “strike[s] me as politicized, defensive and narrow. These are people who will not recognize it when they screw up, and will treat as enemies anyone who tells them they are doing that. And that is how things like Vietnam get repeated.” Ricks, a supporter of the president, claims to be worried.

"King Xerxes is displeased with his generals...

...he disciplines them"

Boy, that Barack Obama certainly seems to only want generals who are answerable to him - not their nation, not it's people, nor it's constitution.

I wonder why?

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