Is Obama purging the military, or is this politics as usual?

Sadie sent me a link to an article that’s been discussed in a couple of email groups to which I belong.  It’s entitled “Obama’s curious purge of the military continues.”  She wondered if I’d heard any military feedback on this noticeable trend.

One of my email groups includes two retired military bloggers.  They reminded everyone that the military’s upper echelon is always political, and it always has been.  (Look at the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc.)  They’re not yet prepared to comment on any deeper ramifications beyond a two-term president doing the usual of getting his own political hacks in place.

As for me, I’m not sure the purges are anything more than sealing up an already done-deal.  After all, Obama has spent the last five years “fundamentally transforming” the American military.  It’s now an anti-Christian, pro-LGBTQ institution that’s marching women into combat.  Put another way, Obama’s already gone a long way to turning ours into an ineffectual European-style military force.  All he needs now is friendly management to cement the deal.

Your thoughts, please?

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  • Spartacus

    I’m highly suspicious, but I’d also offer a number of caveats:
    – Accountability has historically been very high in the US military, and firings should not come as a surprise.  From the Air Force captain visiting a missile silo who saw a cigarette machine (yeah, it’s an old story, but still makes a good point) ten feet on the other side of a red line painted on the floor, stepped briefly over the line, and found himself pinned face-down on the floor by two MP’s with M-16’s at his back; to the enlisted airman who changed his answer about drug use (legally smoking weed in Amsterdam before ever joining the USAF) and was promptly thrown out; to the Navy’s old tradition that whenever a ship runs aground, the captain’s career is over, regardless of all the reasons he had to believe in the competence of the guys he left on the bridge for the graveyard shift; there is a long tradition of strict accountability.
    – There have been stories in recent months of completely substandard performance by ICBM squadrons on IG inspections.  True, they could have been rigged to fail, to pave the way for chucking the commanders, but I’m not sure this passes Ockham’s Razor.
    – Michelle Malkin has been hammering away very convincingly at the apalling lack of security at Camp Bastion.  Given that it was a multinational base, it must be asked to what extent Gurganus and Sturdevant had the (realistic, de facto) authority to control security, but these firings seem well-deserved.  You put two stars on each shoulder, you’re running with the big dogs, and are presumed to be able to make things happen, especially basic things like perimeter security.
    – McChrystal ran afoul of Barack’s thin skin by wagging his tongue indiscreetly.  Purged?  Yes.  Part of a bigger, more sinister plan?  No.
    – Petraeus retired from the Army with glory and honor on his own schedule, so I wouldn’t count him.  True, he did go All In for exploring how “embedded” a journalist could get, and was tossed from CIA within hours after the 2012 election, possibly having to do with not playing ball on Benghazi, but that wouldn’t really count as a military purge.
    I think a strong argument can be made that in the cases of Gaouette, Ham, Mattis, McChrystal, and Petraeus, they were either too resistant to play political ball / asked too many uncomfortable questions / demonstrated insufficient personal loyalty to Barack.  It is also reasonable to assume that not many conservatives are pinning on their third or fourth star.
    Larger, deeper, more systematic purge?  Wouldn’t be surprising, but these few data points in the article don’t make the case.  Still, with two nuke commanders getting the axe recently, I’d look carefully at who their replacements are, and make sure several trusted people outside of the White House have an updated, accurate, and verifiable list of where all of our nukes are.  It’s probably nothing, but…

  • Ymarsakar

    Trust but verify. Obtain intel profiles of the replacements using your own resources, do not trust other people’s sources. They may be compromised. If you absolutely have to use other people’s resources, use triple authentication. 3 independent sources, not connected to each other in any shape, fashion, or form.

  • Charles Martel

    Silver lining: If—big if—the military were ever to be used against the American people, we can be assured that after several years of systematic assault on its warrior culture by Obama and his fellow travelers, a force composed of can’t-carry-heavy-weights women, open homosexuals, and demoralized hetero men is hardly going to have a cakewalk putting down determined resistance by an armed populace.

  • Earl

    Gee, Martel…..has the encouraging comment ALWAYS been your specialty?!?
    As for me, I suspect that the effort of the years following Carter is going to look like a walk in the park compared to what will be required to get our military back to the readiness, force levels, and culture that it has been known for in the past……

  • 11B40

    If I may, the Left and the Way Left are all about the “social justice” and everything they touch is treated as such a product or experiment. They’ve been running that game since Lenin and Stalin stepped out of their troika. Left-thinking general and flag officers will survive as will the more politically adept right-thinkers and I would worry much more about things like “Reduction in Forces” as a political purge opportunity..
    My major concern at this point is the rise to prominence of the Judge Advocate General Corps(e), the keepers and perhaps enforcers of the “Rules of Engagement” flame.  Think Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.  If I were a general or flag officer, I would have to presume that any JAG officers around were social justice types and not likely to be very trustworthy warrior wise.  
    Overall, the hollowing out, that started with the suspension of the military draft for menfolk will continue pretty much unabated. The lessons of the troop shortages during the dark days in Iraq have been effectively expunged. 

  • lee

    I guess he’s just been watching his pal, Erdogan, in action.

  • Jose

    It has been almost 10 years since I left active duty and I have limited contact with anyone still in uniform.
    That said, I can attest that left wing influences and the process of politically correct wussification of the military was well under way well before this administration.  No doubt Obama does what he can to get “his own political hacks in place.” 
    A parallel, and possibly more insidious process is his packing the Judiciary.  See John Lott Jr.’s new book:

    Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench Paperback


  • jj

    Spartacus – had lunch not too terribly long ago with Chuck and Karen Gaouette.  I don’t know about the others, but I doubt if the concept of personal loyalty to whoever occupies the white house ever occurred to him.  Loyal to the country – yes.  Loyal to the service – yes.  Loyal to those around him – yes.  Loyal to his oath and his duty – absolutely.  Not sure the other ever crossed his radar.  I think he’d be very surprised to discover that, like the old Soviet Union, this bunch has added a requirement for personal loyalty to Big Brother, the individual at the top.
    Kind of surprises me, too. 

  • pst314

    The Obama administration (and liberals in general) see Tea Party people as more of a menace than Muslim extremists.
    Something to remember.

  • Spartacus

    jj — And the flip side of what you say is also true: just as it does not occur to many fine folks like Gaouette to operate within a framework other than Duty-Honor-Country, I believe it truly baffles folks in the “Chicago Mafia” in the WH to see people acting in a manner inconsistent with their principles:  1) loyalty to La Cosa Nostra and to “made men” at all times; 2) after that, help yourself to as much of the spoils as you can — it’s part of your compensation package; 3) as truth is nothing but an undiscovered lie, and virtue is nothing but undiscovered vice, just don’t get discovered doing what you do, and you will be as honest and virtuous as anyone.
    Same planet, different worlds.