THE DENIGRATOR DRAFT DODGER 



A Draft-Dodging Fake Bastard Calls Out The Military

 — The Presidente Demente  Donald J. T-RUMP 

He had stepped over the line and everyone kept it a secret because it is was disgusting to hear and this is not a tolerable action by anyone, except a lowlife liar like Donald J. T-RUMP where each and every day he proves when you think he is at the bottom of the barrel, he goes lower. 

With his disgusting, debasing, denigrating commentary for the past four years,  forget the barrel, the scumbag has sunk so low, he should be popping out in China where they will know what to do with him…

Each day T-RUMPS thinking and distortions are worse.  His leadership is questionable and conclusive, he is a frickin coward Draft Dodger and we have run out of options.  He has denigrated our men who wear the uniform voluntarily for our country and worse he has called our fallen heroes names like “ sucker and losers”.

President Donald Trump launched an unprecedented public attack against the leadership of the US military on Monday, accusing them of waging wars to boost the profits of defense manufacturing companies. 

"I'm not saying the military's in love with me -- the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy," Trump told reporters at a White House news conference.

Trump's extraordinary comments come as several defense officials tell CNN relations between the President and Pentagon leadership are becoming increasingly strained.   They also followed efforts by Trump to convince the public that he had not made a series of reported disparaging remarks about US military personnel and veterans, which were first reported by The Atlantic magazine.

T-Rump Referred To Marines Buried At Cemetery In France 

In Crude And Derogatory Terms, A Former Senior Official Says

A former senior administration official confirmed to CNN that Trump referred to fallen US service members at the Aisne-Marne cemetery in crude and derogatory terms during a November 2018 trip to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Other outlets, including Fox News, have confirmed much of The Atlantic's reporting, which Trump and the White House vehemently deny.

Some have expressed concern that the President’s Monday accusations against the military's top brass could have a corrosive effect.   "The President's comments about the motivations of military leaders not only demeans their service and that of those they lead; he lends credence to the very disdain and thoughtlessness he tries to deny," retired US Navy Rear Admiral and CNN analyst John Kirby said.

The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment on Monday's remarks.

While Trump has publicly disparaged the service of several high-profile veterans such as the late Sen. John McCain and his former Secretary of Defense, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, Monday’s broadside was on a new level targeting leaders he appointed to carry out his orders.   T-RUMP has also repeatedly touted boosting the defense budget as one of his administration's major accomplishments, citing it as evidence of his support for the military, spending that has also benefited defense contractors. 

Top Commanders Exhausted And Worried
CNN has previously reported that relations between Trump and his Defense Secretary Mark Esper are tense, with Trump believed to be on the verge of replacing him. But, less than two months from the presidential election, the Pentagon's top commanders are growing increasingly exhausted and worried about their relationship with the President, several defense officials tell CNN.

A critical area of concern is how the Pentagon would respond if Trump invokes the Insurrection Act to put US military troops on the streets to deal with civilian protestors as he continues to stoke divisions across the country in the run up to the election. T-RUMP floated the idea last month and, after he first made the threat in June, Esper publicly broke with him by saying he opposed any such move.  

To avoid a new showdown with the White House, for the last several weeks, top military officials -- including General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- have been getting regular briefings on civil unrest in major cities across the country. The idea is to be ready with alternative plans for state-activated National Guard and other federal civilian law enforcement rather than have active duty troops potentially clash with protesters, according to several defense officials.

Another issue that could lead to a clash between Trump and military leadership is the $740 billion defense bill that would strip the names of Confederate generals in the face of vocal opposition from Trump who said he'd veto any move.

The entire Joint Chiefs have made it clear they want to eliminate what they see as the divisive symbols of the Confederacy. 

Milley did not hold back on the issue in appearance before Congress in July, stating that "those officers turned their back on their oath," referring to the names on the bases. "It was an act of treason, at the time, against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the US Constitution."

Military leadership have embarked on several initiatives aimed at improving racial inclusion. Officials say it is vital work to ensure that when troops go to war, they are a cohesive fighting force.

There are also very real concerns about the aftermath of November's election, particularly if the result is not immediately clear after election night.

Last month Milley told members of Congress that the military will not play a role in the election and won't help settle any disputes if the results are contested.

"In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the U.S. Military," Milley wrote in a letter to the House Armed services committee.

Top US general tells Congress the military won't play a role in the 2020 election

"I believe deeply in the principle of an apolitical U.S. military," Milley wrote.

Despite what Milley stated, should there be some kind of constitutional crisis if the election result is unclear, the military could well be put in a tricky position especially as Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, floated the idea they might become involved in an interview in June.

"I promise you, I'm absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch," Biden said, referring to the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On top of that uncertainty there are concerns Trump may launch military action against an adversary before Inauguration Day, regardless of who wins the White House are also front and center for the top brass.President Donald T-RUMP described American Marines who lost their lives during a crucial World War I battle as “suckers” and “losers,” The Atlantic reported.  he remarked   "Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers," Trump reportedly told senior staff members before a scheduled visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I.

In another conversation, the president called US Marines who were killed in the Battle of Belleau Wood “suckers because they died”, the report said. That piece of land is considered by Marines ( Semper-Fi my brothers) to be sacred and hollow ground because eighteen hundred marines died in those woods vastly outnumbered.


HALLOWED GROUND - A FEW GOOD MEN NEEDED


The Battle of Belleau Wood (1–26 June 1918) occurred during the German Spring Offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The battle was fought between the US  2nd (under the command of Major General Omar Bundy) and 3rd Divisions along with French and British forces against an assortment of German units including elements from the 237th, 10th, 197th, 87th, and 28th Divisions.  The battle has become a key component of the lore of the United States Marine Corps.


He also didn’t understand the significance of the battle and asked his advisers,

 “Who were the good guys in this war?" according to The Atlantic.

A White House official condemned The Atlantic’s report and said these “ Accusations” were “ False." Hopefully that individual,  a Sh*t House Official doesn’t drop into a local bar with a couple Marines and tell them it’s false….  Most of the counter comments came from the usual T-RUMP acolytes Mnuchin, Barr, Sarah Sanders, Mike Pompeo and other scumbags not known for their truth either…

Less than two months from Election Day, President Donald T-RUMP is navigating the fallout of explosive allegations that he disparaged US service members killed in battle.  A former senior administration official confirmed to CNN that T-RUMP had referred to fallen US service members at the Aisne-Marne cemetery in crude and derogatory terms during a November 2018 trip to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

People are realizing how important his removal is to this country and when you sh*t in your pants like he did out of ignorance and stupidity, you change your pants so expect a lot of “ dis and mis” miss-diction to cover this colossal F*ck-up.

The former official, who declined to be named, largely confirmed reporting from Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic magazine, which cited sources who said T-RUMP rejected the idea of a cemetery visit and proceeded to refer to the fallen soldiers as "losers" and "suckers."   The New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News and the Associated Press have all corroborated parts of The Atlantic’s reporting.

Forceful denial. Speaking to reporters hours after The Atlantic report was published, the President said the report was “  disgraceful situation."  "To think that I would make statements negative to our military when nobody has done what I've done, with the budgets and the military budget. We're getting pay raises for the military. It is a disgraceful situation, by a magazine that is a terrible magazine, I don’t read it," he said.

Attack mode. T-RUMP is now going after Laurene Powell Jobs, the philanthropist billionaire who owns a majority stake in The Atlantic.   
VA secretary backs Trump. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, a highly regarded T-RUMP enthusiast and  certified T-RUMP ass-kisser told CNN’s Dana Bash today on “ State of the Union” that he has “absolutely not” heard the President make disparaging comments about US service members  "And I would be offended too if I thought it was true."   Try listening schmuck… and get offended, it’s T-RUMPS proven MO.


Herr Hitler Also Knows More Than The Generals

Victims of the Night of the Long Knives - Adolf Hitler, Ernst Röhm, Gregor Strasser and Hermann Göring pictured in 1932…  Hitler is the one on the left, not smiling. Maybe he knew something…  Röhm and Strasser would be killed in the Night of the Long Knives, which in large part was provoked by evidence fabricated by Göring ( thats the fat bastard on the right mit lederhausen ) and Heinrich Himmler purporting to show that Röhm was planning a coup and for them to get closer to the top of the regime. this is how Hitler took  over, he killed people, T-RUMP fires or denigrates people.

Victims of the Night of the Long Knives  numbered at least 85 people murdered.  It took place in Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934. 

T-RUMP Thought he Could Bully The Generals…
T-RUMP came into office and his adoration was over the top when supported by some fine military commanders on the highest level.   Obviously that didn’t last when they soon realized they were not working in the best interests of our great nation and basically the President was a complete frickin idiot and moron.  Most stayed on to protect the country from Trump if he decided for example to nuke Puerto Rico or Brooklyn…

The following agreed, that he is unfit for the job and basically unfit as a human being.  We have all their documents on file.  They either resigned or were “Fired” but to a man, they held back on T-RUMP in a high regard… there is a code whereby Military personnel do not comment on politics, some ( actually many) suggested the high regard should have a rope attached to a high tree with a ladder or horse underneath and hang him at high noon.  ( High used four times in one sentence)  I have all their statements and will e-mail you if interested.

Retired four-star Gen. James Mattis as his Secretary of Defense 
Retired four-star Gen. John Kelly as his Secretary of Homeland Security, then Chief of Staff
Retired three-star Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster assumed the role of National Security Adviser.
Retired Gen. Joseph Votel  -   Head of Central Command and former Head of SOCOM
Retired Adm.  William H. McRaven  -  Ninth Commander of the United States Special Operations Command 
Retired Gen. Stanley a McCrystal  Joint SOCOM, Commander, ISAF and Commander, US Forces - Afghanistan.
Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark - As Supreme Allied Commander and CINC of the US European Command
In addition  —  60,000 folks who signed the petition of incompetence of the President, most were psychiatrists…


TRAITOR Gets Off and Gets Back On the Guilty Plea.

Retired three-star Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn as his National Security Adviser — Who was arrested, indicted, pled guilty, awaited sentence, and a T-RUMP pardon as an agent for another country and T-RUMP Intervened. 

In an engaged battle Barr and T-RUMP, smartass lawyers and fellow scumbags got the case thrown out for this traitor. They will succeed in trashing our justice system and making a mockery of the pardon allowed to a President.  But several Judges with balls did not go for the program and it is being reviewed again

9 /01 /2020  —  But the Judges reenacted the verdicts and the case is alive again in the court system for this traitor…


T-RUMPS Deferment - Fake Bone Spurs Were A Fake Diagnosis By A Doctor 
Inflammatory Vietnam War comments, too. T-RUMP has repeatedly questioned why Americans who served in Vietnam went to war, according to someone who has heard him make the remarks.  

The President, who received a draft deferment for FAKE NEVER SAW A DOCTOR, HIS DAD WAS RENTING THE DOCTOR HIS OFFICE, IT WAS A TRADE.  Captain Bone Spurs has suggested in those conversations that Vietnam veterans didn’t know how to exploit the system to get out of serving.   

Daddy Warbucks planned all this. Donald’s Father. Thats where all the real scum is. You will not find much from his recent doctors who gave him fake rave reviews.  Both have dropped off the maps since they lied about him.   One blown out by a Congress who would not vet him, the tipsy drug issuing Admiral and the other whose practice might not appeal to everyone.  Now he wants to promote the Admiral, AKA ADMIRAL Dr. Feelgood, the liberal pill pusher in the WhiteHouse.

Breaking news  WASHINGTON – Two daughters of a New York podiatrist say that 50 years ago their father diagnosed President Donald T-RUMP with bone spurs in his heels as a favor to the doctor’s landlord, Fred T-RUMP, The New York Times reported Wednesday:

Trump received five deferments from the draft for military service during the Vietnam War.  He received four education deferments while he was a college student and a fifth deferment in 1968 for a medical exemption after he graduated. 

Questions about Trump’s deferments have dogged him at least since 2011 when The Smoking Gun published an extract of his draft record. Unfortunately the doctor diagnose T-RUMP with Bone Spurs via the fax machine while Donald held his foot up to a lightbulb…

Critics have noted that T-RUMP was an athlete who enjoyed playing football, baseball, squash, tennis and golf in the years before his medical deferment.   "I was the best baseball player in New York when I was young," Trump told interviewer Michael D'Antonio in 2014. "I was always the best at sports." 

"It was a long time ago," Trump told reporters at a July 2015 campaign rally in Iowa. "I had student deferments and then ultimately had a medical deferment because of my feet. I had a bone spur.”   Singular, now it is A bone spur…

When asked which foot had the problem, Trump – who has claimed to have "one of the greatest memories of all time" – told reporters that he could not remember. His campaign later released a statement saying the spurs affected both feet. 

The late Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam veteran whom Trump said was not a war hero because he got captured, took a veiled shot at the president's medical deferment during an October 2017 C-SPAN interview. 

"One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest-income level of America, and the highest-income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur. That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve,” McCain said. 

Words of a draft dodging coward scumbag….The fake lieing president has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members, and asked that wounded veterans be kept out of military parades, multiple sources tell the Atlantic 

In 2016, Army veteran David Weissman was an “unapologetic, red-hat wearing” Donald Trump supporter. The Palm Bay, Fla., resident would regularly join social media mobs attacking liberals, he later wrote, seeking to defend a candidate who he said rightfully prioritized the armed forces.

Four years later, Weissman — who served two tours in Afghanistan — has now sparked a Twitter campaign of former service members against President Trump, over reports that he derided fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.”

“I recommend all veterans to use their Military pics as a profile pic,” Weissman wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening, “to let Trump know how many people he has offended.”

Weissman’s online call to arms underscored the outpouring of anger that erupted from military veterans and their families overnight against T-RUMP, following a bombshell article in the Atlantic that Trump and several top aides have vehemently denied.

Words of a draft dodging coward scumbagT-RUMP said U.S. soldiers injured and killed in war were ‘losers,’ magazine reports In a video on Twitter, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who has spoken out against T-RUMP before, described how his father was shot down while delivering air support to troops on the ground in Vietnam.  “I am stunned that anybody in the United States military would consider you anything but a loser or a sucker,” Eaton said, addressing Trump and urging viewers to vote against him in November. “You’re no patriot.”

Words of a draft dodging coward scumbag…  As first reported by the Atlantic and later confirmed in part by other media outlets, including The Washington Post, T-RUMP said wounded veterans should not march in a military parade and canceled his visit to a French cemetery for American Marines killed in World War I because he had no interest in honoring his country’s war dead.

Words of a draft dodging coward scumbag   The president — who received a NOW EXPOSED AS FAKE MEDICAL deferment from the Vietnam War — also repeatedly questioned why anyone would join the armed forces, notably in comments to his then-chief of staff, John F. Kelly, according to the Atlantic.   “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” he asked on Me.


Excepts from Mark Bowden  —  The Atlantic
MARK BOWDEN is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and the author of Black Hawk Down, Huế 1968, andThe Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden…

Military officers are sworn to serve whomever voters send to the White House. Cognizant of the special authority they hold, high-level officers epitomize respect for the chain of command, and are extremely reticent about criticizing their civilian overseers. That those I spoke with made an exception in Trump’s case is telling, and much of what they told me is deeply disturbing. 

In 20 years of writing about the military, I have never heard officers in high positions express such alarm about a president. Trump’s pronouncements and orders have already risked catastrophic and unnecessary wars in the Middle East and Asia, and have created severe problems for field commanders engaged in combat operations. Frequently caught unawares by Trump’s statements, senior military officers have scrambled, in their aftermath, to steer the country away from tragedy. How many times can they successfully do that before faltering?

Amid threats spanning the globe, from nuclear proliferation to mined tankers in the Persian Gulf to terrorist attacks and cyber warfare, those in command positions monitor the president’s Twitter feed like field officers scanning the horizon for enemy troop movements. 

A new front line in national defense has become the White House Situation Room, where the military struggles to accommodate a commander in chief who is both ignorant and capricious. 

In May, after months of threatening Iran, Trump ordered the carrier group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to shift from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. On June 20, after an American drone was downed there, he ordered a retaliatory attack—and then called it off minutes before it was to be launched. The next day he said he was “not looking for war” and wanted to talk with Iran’s leaders, while also promising them “obliteration like you’ve never seen before” if they crossed him. 

He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and dispatched a three-aircraft-carrier flotilla to waters off the Korean peninsula — then he pivoted to friendly summits with Kim Jong Un, with whom he announced he was “in love”; canceled long-standing US military exercises with South Korea; and dangled the possibility of withdrawing American forces from the country altogether. While the lovefest continues for the cameras, the US has quietly uncanceled the canceled military exercises, and dropped any mention of a troop withdrawal.

Such rudderless captaincy creates the headlines Trump craves. He revels when his tweets take off. (“Boom!” he says. “Like a rocket!”) Out in the field, where combat is more than wordplay, his tweets have consequences. He is not a president who thinks through consequences—and this, the generals stressed, is not the way serious nations behave.


ONE:   A Draft Dodger Who Disdains Expertise  —  T-RUMP has little interest in the details of policy. He makes up his mind about a thing, and those who disagree with him—even those with manifestly more knowledge and experience—are stupid, or slow, or crazy.

As a personal quality, this can be trying; in a president, it is dangerous. Trump rejects the careful process of decision making that has long guided commanders in chief. Disdain for process might be the defining trait of his leadership. Of course, no process can guarantee good decisions—history makes that clear—but eschewing the tools available to a president is choosing ignorance. 

What Trump’s supporters call “the deep state” is, in the world of national security—hardly a bastion of progressive politics—a vast reservoir of knowledge and global experience that presidents ignore at their peril. The generals spoke nostalgically of the process followed by previous presidents, who solicited advice from field commanders, foreign-service and intelligence officers, and in some cases key allies before reaching decisions about military action. 


TWO:  A Draft Dodger Who Trusts Only His Own F*cked - Up Instincts  —  T-RUMP believes that his gut feelings about things are excellent, if not genius. Those around him encourage that belief, or they are fired. Winning the White House against all odds may have made it unshakable.   Decisiveness is good, the generals agreed. But making decisions without considering facts is not.  

Trump has, on at least one occasion, shown the swiftness and resolution commanders respect: On April 7, 2017, he responded to a chemical-warfare attack by Assad with a missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase. But this was not a hard call. It was a onetime proportional retaliation unlikely to stir international controversy or wider repercussions. Few international incidents can be cleanly resolved by an air strike.   
“How did we even get to that point?” one general asked me in astonishment. What kind of commander in chief would risk war with Iran over a drone?


THREE:  A Draft Dodger Who Resists Coherent Strategy
If there is any broad logic to Trump’s behavior, it’s Keep ’em confused. He believes that unpredictability itself is a virtue.

Keeping an enemy off-balance can be a good thing, the generals agreed, so long as you are not off-balance yourself. And it’s a tactic, not a strategy. Consider Trump’s rhetorical dance with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. No president in modern times has made progress with North Korea. Capable of destroying Seoul within minutes of an outbreak of hostilities, Pyongyang has ignored every effort by the US and its allies to deter it from building a nuclear arsenal.

Trump has gone back and forth dramatically on Kim. As a candidate in 2016, he said he would get China to make the North Korean dictator “disappear in one form or another very quickly.” Once in office, he taunted Kim, calling him “Little Rocket Man,” and suggested that the U.S. might immolate Pyongyang. Then he switched directions and orchestrated three personal meetings with Kim.

“That stuff is just crazy enough to work,” one of the generals told me with a what-the-hell? chuckle. “We’ll see what happens. If they can get back to some kind of discussion, if it can avert something, it will have been worth it. The unconventional aspect of that does have the opportunity to shake some things up.”

In the long run, however, unpredictability is a problem. Without a coherent underlying strategy, uncertainty creates confusion and increases the chance of miscalculation—and miscalculation, the generals pointed out, is what starts most wars. John F. Kennedy famously installed a direct hotline to the Kremlin in order to lower the odds of blundering into a nuclear exchange. 

Invading Kuwait, Saddam Hussein stumbled into a humiliating defeat in the first Gulf War—a conflict that killed more than 100,000 people—after a cascading series of miscommunications and miscalculations led to a crushing international response.


FOUR:  A Draft Dodger Who Is Reflexively Contrary”
General H. R. McMaster, who left the White House on reasonably good terms in April 2018 after only 14 months as national security adviser, is about as can-do a professional as you will find. He appeared to take Trump seriously, and tailored his briefings to accommodate the president’s famous impatience, in order to equip him for the weighty decisions the office demands. But Trump resents advice and instruction. He likes to be agreed with. Efforts to broaden his understanding irritate him. McMaster’s tenure was bound to be short. Weeks before accepting his resignation, the president let it be known that he found McMaster’s briefings tedious and the man himself “gruff and condescending.”

Distrusting expertise, Trump has contradicted and disparaged the intelligence community and presided over a dismantling of the State Department. This has meant leaving open ambassadorships around the world, including in countries vital to American interests such as Brazil, Canada, Honduras, Japan, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, and Ukraine. High-level foreign officers, seeing no opportunities for advancement, have been leaving.

“When you lose these diplomats and ambassadors that have all this experience, this language capability, this cultural understanding, that makes things very, very difficult for us,” one of the generals said. “And it leads to poor decisions down the line.”

T-RUMP so resists being led that his instinct is nearly always to upend prevailing opinion.  “He is reflexively contrary,” another of the generals told me.

According to those who worked with him, McMaster avoided giving the president a single consensus option, even when one existed. He has said that he always tried to give the president room to choose. After leaving the White House, he criticized others in the national-security community for taking a different approach, accusing them of withholding information in hopes of steering T-RUMP in the direction they preferred. 

McMaster has not named names, but he was most likely talking about Mattis and General John Kelly, who, after serving as Trump’s homeland-security secretary, became the president’s second chief of staff. McMaster has said that he considered such an approach tantamount to subverting the Constitution—but if his allegation is true, it shows how poorly equipped those people felt T-RUMP was for the job. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report records numerous instances of civilian advisers trying to manage the president, or simply ignoring presidential directives they deemed ill-advised or illegal.

During his brief tenure on Trump’s staff, McMaster oversaw the production of a broad national-security strategy that sought to codify Trump’s “America first” worldview, placing immigration at the head of national-security concerns, right alongside nuclear proliferation and terrorist attacks. The idea was to build a coherent structure around the president’s scattershot diplomacy. Trump rhapsodized about the document at its unveiling, according to someone who was there, saying, “I love it! I love it! I want to use this all the time.”

He hasn’t. Like its author, the document has been dismissed. Those who were involved in writing it remain convinced, somewhat hopefully, that it is still helping guide policy, but John Bolton, McMaster’s successor, said scornfully—a few months before he, too, was ousted by Trump—that it is filed away somewhere, consulted by no one.

Trump is no more likely to have read the thing than he is to have written his own books. (Years ago, after he published The Art of the Deal, he asked me if I was interested in writing his next book. I declined.) Trying to shape this president’s approach to the world into a cogent philosophy is a fool’s errand. For those commanding America’s armed forces, it’s best to keep binoculars trained on his Twitter feed.


Five:  A Draft Dodger Who Has A Simplistic And Antiquated Notion Of Soldiering
Though he disdains expert advice, Trump reveres—perhaps fetishizes—the military. He began his presidency by stacking his administration with generals: Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and, briefly, Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser. Appointing them so soon after their retirement from the military was a mistake, according to Don Bolduc, a retired brigadier general who is currently running as a Republican for the US Senate in New Hampshire. 

Early on, the biggest difference Bolduc saw between the Trump administration and its predecessors, and one he felt was “going to be disruptive in the long term,” was “the significant reliance, in the Pentagon at least, on senior military leadership overriding and making less relevant our civilian oversight. That was going to be a huge problem. 

The secretary of defense pretty much surrounded himself with his former Marine comrades, and there was, at least from that group, a distrust of civilians that really negatively affected the Pentagon in terms of policy and strategy in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, by following the same old failed operational approaches.” Trump’s reliance on military solutions is problematic because “there are limits to what the military can solve. I think initially the Trump administration held this idea that general officers somehow have all the answers to everything. I think the president discovered in short order that that’s really not the case.”

Bolduc also pointed out an unusual leadership challenge caused by having a general of McMaster’s rank serve as national security adviser—he did not retire when he assumed the post. “McMaster, for whom I have tremendous respect, came in as a three-star general. Leaving him a three-star forces him on a daily basis to have to engage with four-star generals who see his rank as beneath theirs, even though his position is much more than that.”

The problems posed by Trump’s skewed understanding of the military extend beyond bad decision making to the very culture of our armed forces: He apparently doesn’t think American soldiers accused of war crimes should be prosecuted and punished. In early May, he pardoned former Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who had been convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner. Two weeks later, he asked the Justice Department to prepare pardon materials for a number of American servicemen and contractors who were charged with murder and desecration of corpses, including Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who stood accused by his own team members of fatally stabbing a teenage ISIS prisoner and shooting unarmed civilians. (He was ultimately acquitted of the murders but convicted of posing for photos with the boy’s body.) 

Trump subsequently chastised the military attorneys who had prosecuted Gallagher, and directed that medals awarded to them be rescinded. All of the generals agreed that interfering with the military’s efforts to police itself badly undermines command and control. When thousands of young Americans are deployed overseas with heavy weaponry, crimes and atrocities will sometimes occur. Failing to prosecute those who commit them invites behavior that shames everyone in uniform and the nation they serve.

“He doesn’t understand the warrior ethos,” one general said of the president. “The warrior ethos is important because it’s sort of a sacred covenant not just among members of the military profession, but between the profession and the society in whose name we fight and serve. The warrior ethos transcends the laws of war; it governs your behavior. 

The warrior ethos makes units effective because of the values of trust and self-sacrifice associated with it—but the warrior ethos also makes wars less inhumane and allows our profession to maintain our self-respect and to be respected by others. Man, if the warrior ethos gets misconstrued into ‘Kill them all …’ ” he said, trailing off. Teaching soldiers about ethical conduct in war is not just about morality: “If you treat civilians disrespectfully, you’re working for the enemy! Trump doesn’t understand.”

Having never served or been near a battlefield, several of the generals said, Trump exhibits a simplistic, badly outdated notion of soldiers as supremely “tough”—hard men asked to perform hard and sometimes ugly jobs. He also buys into a severely outdated concept of leadership. The generals, all of whom have led troops in combat, know better than most that war is hard and ugly, but their understanding of “toughness” goes well beyond the gruff stoicism of a John Wayne movie. Good judgment counts more than toughness.

Bolduc said he came up in a military where it was accepted practice for senior leaders to blame their subordinates, lose their temper, pound on desks, and threaten to throw things, and the response to that behavior was “He’s a hard-ass. Right? He’s tough. That is not leadership. You don’t get optimal performance being that way. You get optimal performance by being completely opposite of that.”

Bolduc worries that, under Trump’s command, a return to these antiquated notions of “toughness” will worsen the epidemic of PTSD plaguing soldiers who have served repeated combat tours. Senior military officers have learned much from decades of war—lessons Bolduc said are being discarded by a president whose closest brush with combat has been a movie screen.

The military is hard to change. This is bad, because it can be maddeningly slow to adapt, but also good, because it can withstand poor leadership at the top. In the most crucial areas, the generals said, the military’s experienced leaders have steered Trump away from disaster. So far.

“The hard part,” one general said, “is that he may be president for another five years.”  Hopefully, God will intervene…


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ATCH 08-27-2020 aljacobsladder.com