Top Former Pentagon Brass Write Warning Letter…Seems Like Their Preparing for Trump’s 2nd Term
Eight former secretaries of defense and five former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote a letter together to warn the government of what they called an “exceptionally challenging civil-military environment” developing in the United States.
They wrote this letter out of concern for the country as we move toward the November midterm elections and the next presidential election in 2024.
They cited the “extreme strain” to “many of the factors that shape civil-military relations” in “recent years,” and the letter points to “the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ramping up of great power conflict.”
The letter also had a not-so-subtle reference to “the divisiveness of affective polarization that culminated in the first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt” as a reason “military professionals confront an extremely adverse environment.”
Here’s where the letter got really interesting, “Looking ahead, all of these factors could well get worse before they get better,” the former Pentagon officials warn. “In such an environment, it is helpful to review the core principles and best practices by which civilian and military professionals have conducted healthy American civil-military relations in the past — and can continue to do so, if vigilant and mindful.”
What follows is a “best practices” plan and the letter was signed by some pretty powerful people including, Ash Carter, Mark Esper, Bob Gates, Chuck Hagel, Jim Mattis, Leon Panetta, Martin Dempsey, Joseph Dunford, and Peter Pace.
One of the most controversial “best practices” was this: “Military officers swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not an oath of fealty to an individual or to an office,” the letter explains. “All civilians, whether they swear an oath or not, are likewise obligated to support and defend the Constitution as their highest duty.”
The letter instructed that the military actions should be taken only “insofar as they are consistent with the Constitution and relevant statutes.”
In other words, they can go against the commander-in-chief.
Former Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Amber Smith, reiterated that “healthy civil-military relations are incredibly important” for the United States. However, as Smith pointed out, “it’s completely hypocritical for these former Defense Secretaries and [Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to preach about how important civ-mil relations are while setting the stage for using military leaders and officials to undermine the president,” she said. “They are getting ready for Trump’s second term.”