If Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, there may be some serious fallout at the Pentagon. According to the Daily Beast, multiple commanders are thinking long and hard about their future careers. “More often than not,” these military professionals are opting to make the difficult decision to leave their careers in the service behind them if Donald Trump becomes commander-in-chief. The reasons are many and varied, but it ultimately boils down to career military men and women being uncomfortable with the Trump rhetoric and his plans for the future of the United States.
“By 2016 I will have my 20 years in and can get out of here.”
Some of Donald Trump’s recently announced plans for the future of the U.S. military are concerning to many currently in U.S. military leadership positions. Campaign platforms such as bombing ISIS (the Chicago Tribune quotes Donald Trump as saying “I would bomb the s— out of them”); banning Muslims from relocating to the United States and not opposing the idea of Muslim-Americans being forced to register their names in a database and to carry special ID’s; and interfering with the flow of Internet information and communications for “national security” purposes are in direct conflict with the values these Pentagon officials swore to die for, say many such officers.
The next president and his or her plans for the future of the U.S. are highly personal to Pentagon commanders, and to military personnel in general. When you enter the U.S. military, you swear an oath to defend the Constitution, which protects both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. You additionally swear to “obey the orders of the president of the United States.” When a potential POTUS, such as Donald Trump, campaigns with promises and ideals that are contrary to the Constitution, such as limiting free speech on the internet or violating freedom of religion protection by singling out/excluding Muslims, it creates a disconnect between defending the Constitution and following the orders of the commander-in-chief.
The issues for military personnel get even more complicated as Donald Trump continues to propose un-American solutions to the problems that plague the nation. The propaganda has gotten so intense and contrary to the ideals of the United States Constitution that private citizens are pointing out parallels between Donald Trump and Adolf Hilter.
Donald Trump, as well as some of his rival Republican candidates, have been repeatedly outlining national security plans that some Pentagon officials find brazen and even reckless. This while the Republican-dominated Congress has refused to pass an updated version of the Authorization of the Use of the Military Force, which would ensure the congressional funding of any future war effort. Of course, since Donald Trump has no political experience, he can’t be blamed for the actions of his newly chosen political party’s congressional representatives.
The Daily Beast reports that their correspondent caught wind of these sentiments regarding Donald Trump from at least a dozen commanders over the last several months, as well as overheard similar conversations among Pentagon officers in common areas such as cafeteria lines and lunch tables.
Unlike Donald Trump, most Pentagon officers are combat veterans themselves, and they fear being put in a position where they’re forced to carry out “futile war plans” or asking others to do the same. Most, if not all, of these officers know someone who’s died or been grievously injured in combat. There is reportedly a permeating distrust of Donald Trump (and candidates like him) who have no military experience and also no reservations about sending U.S. soldiers to fight and die for unrealistic, unattainable goals. Whereas Donald Trump has never fought for his country, most of these Pentagon officials understand the cruel reality of the front-line.
Indeed, while Donald Trump has repeatedly called for an increased U.S. military presence in the Middle East, ABC News reports that not only did The Donald not serve in Vietnam, but he also received a total of six deferments to keep himself from being drafted. Between 1964 and 1968, Donald Trump received four student deferments. Following his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Trump managed to wrangle yet another deferment for medical reasons, and then in 1972, Donald Trump was given a final deferment after ultimately being declared ineligible for service.
While he’s repeatedly spoken of plans to invest the United States in future military conflicts if he’s elected president, Donald Trump did not exactly tell the public the truth when he recounted his own personal lack of military service. Trump told the public he was never called to serve solely due to his high draft lottery number, 356.
“I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.”
The Donald Trump version of events fails to take into account the fact that the draft lottery didn’t take place until December of 1969.
Despite Donald Trump’s apparently hazy memory of his own aborted military service, he has no problem going on the record with his plans to commit the current generation of young Americans to something he has no experience with whatsoever.
It’s this attitude by Donald Trump, the ceaseless drive toward another endless war despite having no military, political, or diplomatic experience, that reportedly contributed to so many Pentagon commanders making contingency career plans in the event of a Donald Trump presidency.
“This is not the country I joined to defend.”
Occupy Democrats reports that only days prior to the reports of Pentagon commanders planning an en masse resignation as opposed to serving under Donald Trump, some of the most decorated generals in the United States called out Republican warmongers. What for? Their ideas for military action against ISIS, calling the ideas divorced from reality.
While some on the political “right” have called out President Obama for his cautious military strategy, even going so far as to call him “spineless” and “weak,” it appears that the top military brass and Pentagon commanders agree that thoughtless aggression would be an even bigger tragedy. Perhaps they are recalling our last Republican presidency, when George W. Bush dragged the U.S. into two wars under the pretense of finding nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction,” wars from which our nation is still recovering financially, militarily and morally.
The families of the over 6,800 Americans the Watson Institute reports lost their lives in those combined wars will never recover. Of course, Donald Trump has no first-hand knowledge of the true cost of war, nor does Donald Trump have experience leading infantry soldiers, let alone generals, let alone the United States military, which Global Firepower ranks the strongest military in the world. Reportedly, this is why some of the most experienced Pentagon commanders have no intention to stick around if Donald Trump is able to pull off a successful bid for the White House.
[Image Courtesy USAF/Handout/Getty Images]