According to a report at Politico, Donald Trump is facing a revolt at the Pentagon with senior officials considering retiring because the president is meddling in internal war crimes rulings and refusing to listen to their advice.
Following the dismissal of now-former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, “a handful of the Pentagon’s highest-ranking officials have been debating just when they would feel compelled to resign over what they see as Trump’s disregard for the chain of command,” the report states.
According to a Pentagon insider, “There’s a sense of dejection by senior leaders in the Pentagon, that the president and the secretary of defense are going to side with the loudmouths at Fox News against the reasoned opposition of senior military professionals. That’s the sense in a nutshell.”
Noting that Spencer stepped down on Sunday after Defense Secretary Mark Esper accused him of an “underhanded attempt to finesse Trump’s demands that the Navy cancel a disciplinary proceeding for Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher,” Politico adds the latest incident is yet another blow-up between the White House and the Pentagon.
“The incident was just the latest collision between Trump and the Pentagon leaders, following incidents in which the president ignored or overruled their advice not to withdraw troops from Syria, ban transgender people from serving or redirect military forces and funding to the U.S.-Mexico border,” Politico reports. “Trump has also weighed in publicly on individual military procurement projects — such as criticizing a potential $10 billion Pentagon contract for Amazon, which Esper subsequently awarded to Microsoft — and demanded that the Navy switch back to old-fashioned steam catapults for its next generation of aircraft carriers.”
“Trump’s relationship with the Pentagon is a far cry from the early days of his administration, when military leaders credited him with giving his generals greater power to make decisions on their own authority, compared with the heavier-handed management of former President Barack Obama and his staff,” the report continues. “That included allowing Mattis to take the White House out of the loop on moves such as launching operations against ISIS and al-Qaida targets in the Middle East.”
According to one Pentagon insider, senior officials had their disagreements with former President Barack Obama but Trump has taken it to a new level.
“Under Obama, we’d bitch because it was this long, involved process. Now we bitch because Trump makes quick, unexpected decisions that aren’t well synchronized,” the former senior military officer admitted. “Now we’re back much more into the details where you wouldn’t necessarily expect that the president would have to step in.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata agreed.
“The president and his senior leaders just seem to have little regard for the feedback of the practitioners in the field,” he told Politico.
You can read more here.
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