Sunday, February 25, 2007

A General's Revolt?

It has been said many times that it was easier to convince the entire population of Athens of the necessity to launch a war than it was to convince a single Spartan of the same. That is because the Spartans were professional warriors, and war was not taken lightly by them. It was judiciously considered and employed only as a last resort.

The Times of London reported Sunday (admittedly not the most unimpeachable source going) that no less than five flag-rank officers currently serving in the U.S. armed services will resign their commissions if the Cheney-Bush administration pursue their singularly focused warmaking ways and attacks Iran openly. (Quite a lot of hostile activity directed toward Iran has already been going on, it's just happening "below the CNN line.")

This is unprecedented, and if five flag-ranks left en masse, it would be a devastating blow and could quite possibly bring down the administration.

Put bluntly, it would be the hugest thing ever. How huge it would become would depend on how many command level officers followed the Generals and Admirals, but I can see a scenario playing out that makes me want to hide under the bed and set the alarm for six months. You can't win a war without field commanders. I can't make it any plainer. The only time in the history of the United States military that would compare to such an event would be the secession of the Confederacy, when half of the military, officers and all, left with it.

It is not only the military on the verge of revolt. The intelligence community is at odds as well, career professionals are disgruntled and openly voicing opposition to the political appointees they answer to, and to administration policies in general.

This is the last thing in the world I want to see play out, and I hope the Honor Code and dedication to upholding the Constitution means as much to the Officers serving right now as they do to me.

Watching this chess-match play out will be disquieting at best, and quite possibly horrifying. The odds of the latter seems pretty good to me, since we have "Checkers Men" at the helm.

[Cross-posted from Watching Those We Chose]


opit said...

Al Gore wins an Oscar and Dubya is in charge. Oy !
It may have become clear why he had to be pushed out by any means. Have you checked that Global section on DU yet ? If a fraction of that reportage is correct we have an irretrievable situation : a disaster of truly Biblical proportions - as the saw says.
It makes Global Warming pretty much irrelevant if at all accurate.

opit said...

BTW The new site looks nice : easier on the eyes too, I should think. Your comment about the Times of London brought forth a smile : I was thinking about Laura Rosen pointing out multiple posts of some flap lately.

exMI said...

I seriously don't expect an attack on Iran anytime soon if at all. (At least by us, the Israelis are another story entirely)It will be interesting to see if that many senior officers actually would resign. I think if there were serious threats of such a thing, names would already have started coming out.

Blue Girl, Red State said...

Command levels have been quietly retiring for some time now, and the mid-ranking officers aren't there to replace them because junior officers are getting out after their 3-5 year commitments (if they got their degree and commission via ROTC or an academy) or not going in at all if they have no obligation.

We are nearly 4000 officers short in the regular Army, and nearly 11,000 Officers short in the Reserves - in the Lt. and Capt. ranks alone.

You don't find a Lt. Colonel at the Waldo recruiting station.

I have been noticing a lot of retired Colonels with critical Op-Ed pieces in the newspapers of a lot of medium-sized and base-hosting cities. (Note to self: Start archiving those...)

Kansas City is situated between Ft. Leavenworth and Whiteman AFB, and less than a half-day's drive from Offutt AFB, McConnell AFB, and Ft. Riley. Ft. Leonard Wood and Little Rock AFB are less than a day away - The Kansas City Star has a retired Colonel writing a regular column as one of the "Midwest Voices" columnists. He is harsh in his assessments, and for that fact, so is my husband.