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Do (or Should) Civilians Control The Military?  
User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Posted (7 years 12 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

I guess this is an open question to anyone who cares to respond:

Do (or should) civilians control the military ?

From Military Aviation & Space
Thread "C-17 Google Sat photo at Ashgabat Turkmenistan"

Checksixx is unhappy:

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 23):
I'm irritated because of idiots that draw the discussion away from the topic which has happened here for no reason. Civilians have no need to know what specific missions are going on. That itself would violate OPSEC. Civilians most certainly are not supposed to govern the military. They are to govern the law makers and those appointed over the military...ie...the President, SECDEF, Congress...the list goes on. This is a fact.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1> Civilians _do_ indeed govern the military, through the (in the United States) executive part of the government, and (in Canada) through the legislative part ofd the government. Primarily this is through the Secretary or Minister of Defense, as appropriate to eavch country -- civilians. Main policy setters in each entity are bureaucrats -- and civilians. The elected officials are there via a free ballot of civilians (and the military, to be 100% accurate) who delegate their authority to act for them to these people. Ergo, civilians are in control of the military, at least in theory. And that is how it should be in an open democracy.
2> Civilians _do_ have a right to know what the military is doing as what the military does canimpact them in many ways. Ever heard of Hanford, Washington ? What the military the the DoE have accomplished is truly mind-boggling in terms of nuclear pollution and potential consequences, all in the name of national security -- basically no oversight beyond those in DoE who were sworn to secrecy. Don't get me wrong, nuclear energy _is_ my business, but there needs to be continuing oversight and accountability. OPSEC does not apply when the welfare of the public is concerned, at least in my view.
3> On a personal note, US military OPSEC as you appear to define it (or if I understand it correctly) does not apply to me since I'm Canadian. Your governments' jurisdiction ends at the border.

But I am sure you have something to say about that. So, please, the floor is yours. Respond, or not, as you choose.

Please note: not an anti-American rant. I may have my differences with the US government, but not with Americans as people. Pretty much "mighty fine", as my ex's family in North Carolina would say.

Further to note: simply not talking about matters that _may_ be sensitive and not drawing attention to them is the simplest and easiest way to avoid any red flags. And this was not the case with the C-17s in Ashgabat, which, by the most available info, were on humanitarian aid flights. Hardly a security matter.

Cheers all,


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (7 years 12 months 7 hours ago) and read 1750 times:

Quoting Connies4ever (Thread starter):
Do (or should) civilians control the military ?

They pretty much do...its called the U.S. Congress.

So, I'm having a hard time seeing your point here.  yes 



Crye me a river
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (7 years 12 months ago) and read 1729 times:

The Commander-in-Chief is a civilian. The Secretary of Defense is a civilian. Congressmen and women are civilians. Senators are civilians. All elected or appointed and confirmed by elected civilians.

Civilians should and do control the military.

Now...I think that the issue here is how is the original thread starter defining "civilian"?



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 12 months ago) and read 1721 times:

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 1):



Quoting DL021 (Reply 2):

I guess I'm slower than you two . . . I'm still trying to figure out the point of the thread??  scratchchin 


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21654 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1706 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 2):
Civilians should and do control the military.

Here's a question that's somewhat related: Assuming that civilians control the military (and I agree that they do), should those civilians be required to have been a member of the military at one point?

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1684 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
I'm still trying to figure out the point of the thread??

Don't worry, I'm still trying to figure it out myself.  yes 

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
should those civilians be required to have been a member of the military at one point?

Good question.  checkmark 

Personally, I think they should, but then that defeats the purpose of what most people intend with civilians having control over the military in the first place. So, if they were never part of it at any point in time, then I think they need to at least have an intimate familiarity with it and realize how many lives are being pushed and pulled by their decisions.



Crye me a river
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1660 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
Here's a question that's somewhat related: Assuming that civilians control the military (and I agree that they do), should those civilians be required to have been a member of the military at one point?

Dave, I believe that if the civilian in charge has never been in the military then they really need to familiarize themselves with the pointy end of the national spear on as intimate a level as possible.

That said, no......Roosevelt led us through the Second World War without having served in the military. He sent his sons, and his family served (perhaps most famously with his cousin Teddy another excellent president who led the charge on Kettle Hill when Leonard Wood was promoted to Brigade commander and left Teddy in charge of the Volunteer Cavalry) including his son Jimmy as a Marine Raider.

I do prefer, however, a candidate with military experience for all the benefits that can bring a person, not the least being the understanding of what the line doggies are facing and what's involved with sending men to their deaths.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1011 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1643 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
Here's a question that's somewhat related: Assuming that civilians control the military (and I agree that they do), should those civilians be required to have been a member of the military at one point?

Like some fourth-world banana republic? No thank you. The constitution places the military squarley under the supervision of an elected government. Its one of the main reasons that we have not had a military coup or junta in 220 years (knocks on wood) There are planty of countries throughout Latin America and Africa that do not have such safeguards on their armed forces, ask them how that worked out.



"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1640 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
I guess I'm slower than you two . . . I'm still trying to figure out the point of the thread??

I think he wants every Mr & Mrs Rottencrotch out there to know the inner details and working of the military.... You know, complete and total civilian oversight of everything. As in, Mr & Mrs Rottencrotch need to be told why unit X is sneaking around in Nowheresville.

A complete a total load of  redflag  if you ask me. Mr or Mrs. Potus and his/her advisors can know that. Mr & Mrs Nobody don't need to have that information.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1632 times:

Quoting Connies4ever (Thread starter):
Do (or should) civilians control the military ?

Yes, the should, and yes, they do.

Were you especially bored when you created this thread?


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29802 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1625 times:

The Civilian goverment should control the military.

The problem come in when you have civilian leadership who think that they know more about tactics then the guys on the line.

History is full of examples.

Adolf Hitler-It is widely accepted that Germany fought a much more tacticly stupid war when he started giving direct orders.

Lyndon Johnson-He had the habit of going to down to the west wing where the sand tables of Vietnam where in the middle of the night drunk and tell the joint chiefs that he wanted a particlar hill taken.....Usually with no vaild tactical reason.

Donald Rumsfeld-Do we really need me to come up with an example.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 10):
History is full of examples.

Adolf Hitler-It is widely accepted that Germany fought a much more tacticly stupid war when he started giving direct orders.

Lyndon Johnson-He had the habit of going to down to the west wing where the sand tables of Vietnam where in the middle of the night drunk and tell the joint chiefs that he wanted a particlar hill taken.....Usually with no vaild tactical reason.

Donald Rumsfeld-Do we really need me to come up with an exampl

Yes, in each of the cases you've cited, civilian leadership of the military has produced some spectacular failures. But I'd rather live with those failures than to leave control of the military in the hands of people who would be unaccountable to the public they serve.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29802 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1621 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 11):
Yes, in each of the cases you've cited, civilian leadership of the military has produced some spectacular failures. But I'd rather live with those failures than to leave control of the military in the hands of people who would be unaccountable to the public they serve.

I think you are missing my point.

Civilian leadership is needed but that doesn't mean that said civilian leadership shouldn't know when to back off and listen to the generals.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1609 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 12):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 11):Yes, in each of the cases you've cited, civilian leadership of the military has produced some spectacular failures. But I'd rather live with those failures than to leave control of the military in the hands of people who would be unaccountable to the public they serve.
I think you are missing my point.

Civilian leadership is needed but that doesn't mean that said civilian leadership shouldn't know when to back off and listen to the generals.

I agree. Problem is, the line between active involvement in decision making and acting as a rubber stamp for the general and admirals is not always a clear one.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1597 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 10):

You missed one.

No heavy armor in Somalia.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 13):
Problem is, the line between active involvement in decision making and acting as a rubber stamp for the general and admirals is not always a clear one.

I agree, that said: Somalia proved to be a grand example of what happens when the 'lack of experience' is so profound as to border on the dangerous.

In the reverse: Desert Storm. Bush and Cheney listened intently to Schwartzkopf and Powell and got the job done - handily. But there was no argument from either General when Bush said 'stand down'.

That is an example of how it should be done. Not the Somalia clusterfuck, and the others L-188 cited . . .


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