Tag Archives: secretary of defense



The president, as commander-in-chief, directs the activities of the Defense Department. The secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs advise the president and send him recommendations. We all know that. Civilian rule over the military is a long-established and necessary doctrine. But what happens when the commander-in-chief is not capable of developing defense policy and providing the leadership to implement the policy? Are the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs still required to follow presidential guidance? The answer is a clear yes. We have a thing called the ballot box that settles who is our commander-in-chief.

President Barack Obama announces former Senator Chuck Hagel, second from left, as his nominee for Secretary of Defense.  Photo by Matt Compton, from whitehouse.gov.

President Barack Obama announces former Senator Chuck Hagel, second from left, as his nominee for Secretary of Defense. Photo by Matt Compton, from whitehouse.gov.

But that doesn’t mean that General Dempsey and the secretary of defense are powerless to resist dangerous policies or can’t argue forcefully against presidential (commander-in-chief) orders. We have a president who, to my memory, has not been right in a single foreign or military issue. His decisions always put his politics and image ahead of what professionals think/know is best for the nation. Just review the mess in Libya with Gaddafi’s regime looking better every day since he was ousted and central control over Libya vanished, ending up with Benghazi and weapons flowing to radical Islamic groups though out the Middle East and Africa. The president’s inability to see the world as it is has led to a dangerous situation in the Ukraine as Putin takes advantage of the absence of American power and resolve. The famous disappearing redline in Syria, the failure to aid moderate Islamic forces to overthrow Asad, the vacillation over the reformation of the Iraqi government, the plans to drastically reduce the armed forces, the constantly televised presidential statements telling our enemies what we will not do and when we are leaving the theater are some critical examples. It is too late for the moderate secular Muslims have now been killed or absorbed into ISIS.

Dempsey and Hagel have had ample opportunity to judge the effectiveness and wisdom of their commander-in-chief. Some of their statements indicate they disagree with President Obama. Even if their refreshingly strong recent statements are walked back within a day or so, it might be a start. They are required to follow President Obama’s lead by our founding documents but they also took an oath to defend America and its people. If they cannot convince the president to change or modify his orders, both need to resign and take their case to Congress and the public. They have a duty to do so. But maybe they think they are indispensable or that by remaining in office they are preventing a bad situation from getting worse. Or do they just want to keep their prestigious positions and titles? I hope both of these men who have honorably served their country will choose the right path.

At the very least they need to stop the disintegration of the Armed Forces back to pre-World War II levels and to invest in developing new weapons to ensure America’s ability to defend itself and its allies. Congress will cooperate, they know peace comes through strength. War thrives on weakness. Every historian, except those with a progressive political agenda, will agree.

Written by the author of “Insights: Transforming America — Is This What We Fought For?” available now as an ebook, in paperback or hardcover on Amazon.com or BN.com. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80. If you think this message is important, please share it.


Filed under Barry Kelly, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Obama, Progressives, Russia



Obama vs military

How did we get to the point where soldiers are being given termination of employment notice while in combat zones fighting for our safety and freedom? This is a new low for any president, his secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After both world wars, America cut back on the troop level and budget of the armed forces. Then the respective presidents and the citizens believed wars were finally over and we could rely first on the League of Nations and later, the United Nations though they are both international organizations with more promise than results.

We should know better now.

The need for current troop levels and budget increases is real. Islam radicalism is real, as is their hatred for all things western and especially the United States. The Cold War is not over. It never was. Russia and China present real threats to the economic and military power of the United States. Diplomacy, no matter the narrow view of the liberal progressives now in power, cannot be effective without real military and economic power. This is political science 101, the most basic of all principles of the exercise of power.

There is a pervasive myth that is part of the code of the liberal left or progressive movement. Social welfare programs cannot be funded adequately if the resources allocated to the military cannot be drastically reduced. They would rather have an ineffective national defense than cap or limit social welfare spending. The myth is easily perpetrated among a social political group that sees no need for the military and its exercise of violent power. The Vietnam War did not create this liberal group who devoutly believe if they are good and just, all other nations will also be good and just. This belief has been here as long or longer than recorded history. The actions of the left toward our warriors returning from Vietnam will never be erased. This is the same political group that justifies President Obama’s Benghazi actions and the subsequent cover-up.

We all should be embarrassed at the actions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense. They supported the president in the Benghazi tragedy and the cover-up, knowing it was wrong. In a democracy, a Constitution that designates the president as the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t excuse any military officer or civilian officer for  participating in a cover-up where Americans died without any attempt to rescue them. The Joint Chiefs do not have to act like mummies when they see the president’s secretary of defense destroying the best military force the world has ever known. They have a duty to resist and resign if necessary. Terminating the service of active duty military, officers, and troops while in a combat zone is inexcusable. There is no need for this. Funds can be found without damaging any sacred social programs. While the current debt is too high, the needs of the military is not the driving force of the national debt.

If the troops who are being fired for socialist reasons had jobs to go to, at least cutting the military force drastically wouldn’t be a humanitarian disaster. Thanks to the socialist need to transform American into a European socialist economy, there are no jobs for them to go to. Not only does this presidential action weaken America’s defense, it puts hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men and women into the ranks of the unemployed and hurts the morale of those who didn’t get cut.  Chief of the Joint Staff, General Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, where is your sense of honor? It is time for you both to resign.







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Filed under Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Progressives