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.

    24 48.00%
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Thread: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

  1. #21
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    The President sets goals, decides on overall missions, and decides on any rules of engagement needed for a particular mission, and that is as it should be. Congress is needed to declare war(though this is unused in modern times) and set funding(and denying funding would be political suicide), and this is as it should be. The military decided tactics and strategies within the above framework. All of this is appropriate.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    The military decided tactics and strategies within the above framework. All of this is appropriate.
    As CinC the President has ultimate authority even down to the tactical level, if he chooses to exercise it. For the most part, especially since LBJ, most Presidents won't micro-manage anymore. (LBJ would pick specific targets to bomb & what ordinance to be used)

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil505 View Post
    As CinC the President has ultimate authority even down to the tactical level, if he chooses to exercise it. For the most part, especially since LBJ, most Presidents won't micro-manage anymore. (LBJ would pick specific targets to bomb & what ordinance to be used)
    The only part a president will manage on a tactical level is rules of engagement, and possibly deciding targets. It should be avoided as much as possible, and is not done much. Technically, you are correct, but practically, not so much.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post

    Speaking of the Civil War, read up on Fredricksburg and see how political micro-management pressured Burnside into launching a failed assault. Burnside didn't want to attack Maryes Heights head on, but political pressure didn't leave him any choice.

    .
    Actually, that's another good example of a bad General. Burnside was given superior alternatives by his subordinates (fording the river immediately and attacking the rebs before they achieved a strong defensive position), but he blundered and chose to wait several days for a pontoon bridge to be brought into place.

    He had an alternative, but chose to wait and assault a fortified position. Lincoln had nothing to do with this particular decision.

    But generally speaking you are correct on one count; the generals never wanted to attack Lee. It was the constant interference from Lincoln that finally allowed the army to rotate through enough commanders to find one willing to attack and win the war (Grant). Had he left it up to any of the first 4 or 5 commanders to prosecute the war, the north would have lost.
    Last edited by KillerAngel; 09-28-09 at 04:28 PM.
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    The only part a president will manage on a tactical level is rules of engagement, and possibly deciding targets. It should be avoided as much as possible, and is not done much. Technically, you are correct, but practically, not so much.
    I usually agree with you Redress but not on this point. As CinC, a President has the authority to decide any military tactic or minuscule point that he/she wants. If President Obama suddenly orders all our soldiers to start wearing their skivvies on the outside of their pants from now on, that order is legal, binding & enforceable by court martial if violated.
    Now, if the question is Should a President micro-manage the military, I would generally say no, but he always has that authority & it does occasionally need to be exercised, imo.
    example: During the Cuban Missle Crisis, JFK micro-managed how our navy would respond to any Soviet provocation at sea near Cuba., regrdless of standing Navy ROE's ........JFK ordered that no shots would be fired unless specifically authorized by the WH. No exceptions.
    Last edited by Devil505; 09-28-09 at 04:41 PM.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil505 View Post
    I usually agree with you Redress but not on this point. As CinC, a President has the authority to decide any military tactic or minuscule point that he/she wants. If President Obama suddenly orders all our soldiers to start wearing their skivvies on the outside of their pants from now on, that order is legal, binding & enforceable by court martial if violated.
    Now, if the question is Should a President micro-manage the military, I would generally say no, but he always has that authority & it does occasionally need to be exercised, imo.
    I covered all that already. You are technically right but practically wrong. "Can" and "will" or two different things.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I covered all that already. You are technically right but practically wrong. "Can" and "will" or two different things.
    OK..I apologize if I misunderstood you then. I would say Authorized to & Should would be the difference I would point to, but I think we are saying the same thing.

    (what threw me off was when you said: " The only part a president will manage on a tactical level is rules of engagement" .....which is not true. As I pointed out, LBJ got into specifics much deeper than just targets during the Vietnam War. He would decide specific ordinance & tactics to be used in battle! way more than I think advisable for a civilian to decide.)
    Last edited by Devil505; 09-28-09 at 04:48 PM.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil505 View Post
    OK..I apologize if I misunderstood you then. I would say Authorized to & Should would be the difference I would point to, but I think we are saying the same thing.

    (what threw me off was when you said: " The only part a president will manage on a tactical level is rules of engagement" .....which is not true. As I pointed out, LBJ got into specifics much deeper than just targets during the Vietnam War. He would decide specific ordinance & tactics to be used in battle! way more than I think advisable for a civilian to decide.)
    That would qualify under "rules of engagement" largely.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    That would qualify under "rules of engagement" largely.
    Not really but I won't argue the point.

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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlanaganReport View Post
    You have a say in electing the people who can.
    When was the last time an honest politician was elected to POTUS? Point being is that just because they are elected by us doesn't mean that they have to do what we say. Look at Bush's last term in office. He pretty much said "screw you I'm going to do what I want regardless of what you people say".
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