View Poll Results: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

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  • The President-Civilian Control

    26 52.00%
  • The Joint Chiefs-The Military Professionals

    0 0%
  • The President, but the military should decide battlefield tactics.

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Thread: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

  1. #181
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    2 Different issues.

    1) Safety concerns for the President's life & others around him would in theory be enough to stop him from touching the controls the same way that safety concerns would stop him from traveling through certain parts of the world. That is not what is being argued. Those are common sense rules. The President (I hope) wouldn't 1) try to play around with the commands on a ship and 2) give orders that may endanger those around him without proper input from people around him.

    We're talking about whether the President's orders would have to be followed if one didn't think they were legal. We're talking more in the sense of the President ordering the shelling a village somewhere in Somalia and a ship's seamen(not using the correct word, I know) refusing to do so for whatever reason.
    I do realize this. And I don't agree with disobeying orders in general. Whether an order is unlawful or not is determined by the officers conducting the review of a servicemember's actions, not the servicemember. Unfortunately, this can cause a catch 22. People have been convicted of serious charges for obeying unlawful orders. Most of the time, orders that would seriously violate either the UCMJ or LOAC or some other rule of engagement are obviously unlawful, other times, there could be a question due to how information distribution works in the military.

    However, I am arguing with those who believe a servicemember has to obey any order the President gives them directly, or more specifically, orders that aren't really lawful orders but also aren't dangerous orders. There are people arguing this point on this thread. I am saying they are wrong. Unlawful orders are not only those that, if followed, would cause serious physical harm or death or damage to military equipment. They do include orders that would violate certain standing orders in place or that would violate the UCMJ.

    You may be arguing what you mentioned, others are not.

    But truthfully, I don't think it matters anyway. Most likely the President will follow the chain of command. From my experience with high ranking officers, they generally will follow proper military protocol and direct their orders down the chain of command. The exceptions are usually to immediately correct minor deficiencies, not give random orders.
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  2. #182
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil505 View Post
    Our Constitution confers civilian control over our military by making the President Commander In Chief. Do you think this is a good idea?
    The original Commander-in-Chief was a former General. And what do we get today? A draft dodger, a former National Guard Reservist, and another who just had other things to do?

    We can see from the Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the American "Empire" that civilizations grow and prosper greatly when they have civilian oversight over their powerful militaries. Not only does it protect itself from military coups and such, but it provides management of a valuable nation building asset. Unfortunately, today our military has to endure the opinions of civilians who can't even identify the rank structures of those they send off to perform murder for them.

    Before the war in Iraq, the living CENTCOM plan called for more troops. It answered the questions of occupation. But this plan threw too many complications into a situation that had to look simple. You see, Americans and their civilian leaders don't like their issues complex. They want them simple and without complication. Rumsfeld refused the militaries plan and opted for the civilian plan, which called for the bare minimum of troops and an absolute refusal to obey "Occupation: 101." Of course, this only guaranteed the unobstructive slaughter of the local population by the children of the desert. And as the years rolled by, the call for more troops by our Generals continued to be ignored or appeased by sending more of the bare minimum (which was usually just an overlapping of units). Rumsfeld and the Republicans that supported him over the troops can pat themselves on the back today, but they will refuse to acknowledge the fact that they didn't do a damn thing. It was the military that made due and came through despite their seemingly designs to guarantee failure.

    And today? Once again we see the Generals asking for more troops only this time it is the Democrats who "know better" than those in uniform. Afghanistan will always be Afghanistan. And there are two options for it...

    1) The government is horribly corrupt because of what this population has to offer. But if we are going to remain there and continue believing in the fantasy that we can nation build in every situation, then our Generals have spoken. They need more troops. Even if it means strengthening corruption (a Cold War prescription for regions our politicians seem to embrace lovingly).

    2) Or we pull out, let Afghanistan walk the path it is detemrined to walk anyway, and punish our enemies by air and via special forces from our sea bases. As long as the enemy bleeds profusely then we win.

    There is no "victory" here in the sense that our enemies will unconditionally surrender. Our media and our own people simply will not allow the military to do what it needs to in order to provide this. They haven't since WWII. But the circumstances of today's world has redefined what "victory" is. We only need to pull our heads out of our assess and recognize it.

    In the mean time our Commander-in-Chief is deciding on whether or not to listen to the collective idiocy of politicial parties or his military in regards to military affairs. And why not? Who hasn't had a surgery forthcoming and pushed their doctor aside to get the opinions and guidance of their mall hair dresser? Certainly the men and women of Washington, who would never lower themselves to serve their country in uniform, have powerfulo insight into cultures they have never seen up close. Certainly, these suited bufoons have studied long hours over a few days and know exactly what it takes to defeat an enemy.

    It's not our military that weakens our nation in regards to real enemy threats and national image. Today's Commander-in-Chief has one duty when it comes to "leading" the military. He is to point and go away. Any further contribution should come with the spoken words, "you got it."

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  3. #183
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    And, quite simply, the answer would be no. One would not be obligated to follow an unlawful order issued by the president.
    Of course, the individual who joined the military for the pretty uniform and the benefits, who finds himself on the deploying side of his obligation, doesn't get to declare "unlawful." He doesn't get to declare that he didn't join the UN or NATO. And doesn't get to declare that the nation was "lied" into war.

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  4. #184
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    I do realize this. And I don't agree with disobeying orders in general. Whether an order is unlawful or not is determined by the officers conducting the review of a servicemember's actions, not the servicemember. Unfortunately, this can cause a catch 22. People have been convicted of serious charges for obeying unlawful orders. Most of the time, orders that would seriously violate either the UCMJ or LOAC or some other rule of engagement are obviously unlawful, other times, there could be a question due to how information distribution works in the military.

    However, I am arguing with those who believe a servicemember has to obey any order the President gives them directly, or more specifically, orders that aren't really lawful orders but also aren't dangerous orders. There are people arguing this point on this thread. I am saying they are wrong. Unlawful orders are not only those that, if followed, would cause serious physical harm or death or damage to military equipment. They do include orders that would violate certain standing orders in place or that would violate the UCMJ.

    You may be arguing what you mentioned, others are not.
    Read this quote :

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...post1058293248

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    No it does not. He is the supreme authority period. Being in the military I figure you should know this.

    The president can give any lawful order he wishes. No one is talking about ridicules fallacy situations with the president ordering people to jump in a fly helicopters without training or any such nonsense. That is what you are trying to make it about, and to be honest that argument is just blowing of smoke.
    We're arguing what the president can lawfully do. Can he order line units? Yes. Can he order individual troops to move in X directions? Yes. Can he give unlawful orders? No. But there is no doubt that within the lawful orders that he gives he is the supreme commander of all the branches.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 10-08-09 at 01:53 PM.
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  5. #185
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Read this quote :

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...post1058293248



    We're arguing what the president can lawfully do. Can he order line units? Yes. Can he order individual troops to move in X directions? Yes. Can he give unlawful orders? No. But there is no doubt that within the lawful orders that he gives he is the supreme commander of all the branches.
    You still don't get it, do you? The president is bound by the chain of command just like everyone else. An order that doesn't go through proper channels could be considered unlawful and therefore no obligation exists to obey it. The president doesn't get to circumvent the system, just because he's the president. Sorry!
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

  6. #186
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Read this quote :

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...post1058293248



    We're arguing what the president can lawfully do. Can he order line units? Yes. Can he order individual troops to move in X directions? Yes. Can he give unlawful orders? No. But there is no doubt that within the lawful orders that he gives he is the supreme commander of all the branches.
    I don't know if he can actually tell troops what direction to move in directly. I doubt a smart President would, due to the way information works in the chain of command. However, I do know that there are some lawful orders that the President cannot give directly to personnel just because of the fact that he probably wouldn't have all the info that a CO would have about that particular situation. The order could still be a lawful order, but because he doesn't necessarily have the info available, he would need to give it to the OIC to pass down.

    I worked in a CVN engineroom, so that is what I have knowledge of. If the President came into the engineroom, and told the throttleman that he wanted to go faster, and ordered him to open the throttles, this would not be a lawful order only because he does not have all the information required to know if this would be safe at the time. Now if he gave the same order to the CO or the OOD, this would be a perfectly lawful order. They would then be able to coordinate our going faster. I think this would work the same for line troops and such. Just the fact that he doesn't necessarily have all the information required would restrict him from giving some otherwise lawful orders.

    I understand there are many orders that the Pres. can give to troops and they would have to follow. And, as far as those orders on having someone hold something for him, I don't think they're actually right, but I also think most COs would still punish a person for not following them as long as they didn't actually affect the person's performance of duties or safety.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The theater commander should have the president's full support when making decisions about tactics and strategy. IOW, if the theater commander says he needs it, the president let's him have it.
    That really worked out for Westmoreland, huh?

  8. #188
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    You still don't get it, do you? The president is bound by the chain of command just like everyone else. An order that doesn't go through proper channels could be considered unlawful and therefore no obligation exists to obey it. The president doesn't get to circumvent the system, just because he's the president. Sorry!
    What part of Commander in Chiefof the Army, Navy, Airforce, National Guard & Militia do you not understand?

    FOXNews.com - U.S. Military Chain of Command - U.S. & World

    Running from the president to the secretary of defense to the commander of the combatant command, the chain of command for the United States military is spelled out by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. The secretaries of the military departments assign all forces under their jurisdiction to the unified and specific combatant commands to perform missions assigned by those commands.

    Under the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958, the Departments of Army, Navy and Air Force were eliminated from the chain of "operational" command. Commanders of unified and specified commands now respond to the president and the secretary of defense through the joint chief of staff. The act redefined the functions of the military departments to those of essentially organizing, training, equipping and supporting combat forces for the unified and specified commands.

    President of the United States
    Commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces.

    Secretary of Defense
    Principal defense policy adviser to the president
    Appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate
    Military action taken by the president is passed through the secretary of defense

    National Security Council
    Consists of the president, vice-president, secretary of state and secretary of defense
    Serves as the principal forum for considering national security issues requiring presidential decisions
    The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff serves as military adviser to the Council; the CIA is the intelligence adviser
    The secretary of the treasury, the U.S. representative to the United Nations, the assistant to the president for national security affairs, the assistant to the president for economic policy and the president's chief of staff are invited to all meetings.
    The attorney general and the director of the office of national drug control policy attend meetings pertaining to their jurisdiction. If appropriate, other officials are invited.
    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army]United States Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    In 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Act mandated that operational control of the services follows a chain of command from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the Unified Combatant Commanders, who have control of all armed forces units in their geographic or function area of responsibility. Thus, the Chief of Staff of each service only has the responsibility to organize, train and equip his own service component. The services provide trained forces to the Combatant Commanders for use as they see fit.
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  9. #189
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    That really worked out for Westmoreland, huh?
    Westmoreland was an exception and cared more about the image of his Army than the effort in Vietnam. Our history is rich with wise military commanders and up until Clinton's presidency they were regarded as propper guidance in the conduct of war and military matters.

    If the time comes for men to wage war and shed the blood of our enemies then the civilian politicians have failed in there duties. The last thing the military wants is for that failure in a suit to stick his nose into military affairs so he can fail there too.

    The peacemakers and maintainers have always been in uniform not in a suit.

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  10. #190
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    That really worked out for Westmoreland, huh?
    Westmoreland did exactly what he was told by the civilian bosses. See why that's a bad idea?
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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