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. #41
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillerAngel View Post
    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.
    Right, by his subordinates. Since you know that, you also know that those alternatives would have delayed the attack several days longer than it would have taken to build the pontoon bridge; and option that Burnside didn't have. He was under orders from Washington to attack, now.



    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.

    Actually, Lincoln finally found a commander that was willing to pour as much cannon fodder into the fight, until the Confederates expended all their combat power. Grant had a population of 20 million to draw on, plus a seemingly endless supply of immigrants who signed their citizenship papers, right after they enlisted in the army; that seemingly endless supply of manpower was Grant's only real advantage.
    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.

  2. #42
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    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.
    Tactical decisions, down to the ROE should be decided by the theater commander.
    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.

  3. #43
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Obviously the Pres(who however on the civilian side.) should take the major decisions, you can't have the military in control of stuff like that, the rest should generally be left to the commanders but the Pres should be able to override them.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 09-28-09 at 11:43 PM.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  4. #44
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Obviously the Pres(who however on the civilian side.) should take the major decisions, you can't have the military in control of stuff like that, the rest should generally be left to the commanders but the Pres should be able to override them.
    Yeah, what business do military commanders with 30-odd years of experience have making military decisions. A general, with a couple different degress and untold hours of education in the military sciences couldn't possibly know more than a civilian president with a degree in basket weaving, when it comes to tactical and strategic matters. That would be totally nuts to do something like that and yes, I'm being sarcastic.
    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.

  5. #45
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Yeah, what business do military commanders with 30-odd years of experience have making military decisions. A general, with a couple different degress and untold hours of education in the military sciences couldn't possibly know more than a civilian president with a degree in basket weaving, when it comes to tactical and strategic matters. That would be totally nuts to do something like that and yes, I'm being sarcastic.
    That is clearly what I said.

    The question is about who should have final say. I think it must always be the civilian representatives. That doesn't mean I think they should often interfere in tactics and such.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  6. #46
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    That is clearly what I said.

    The question is about who should have final say. I think it must always be the civilian representatives. That doesn't mean I think they should often interfere in tactics and such.
    I think it behooves the civilian reps to go along with what the theater commander says should be done.
    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.

  7. #47
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    The chain of command is about who has the authority to make the call, not who is actually the most competent. I can't really think of a scenario when the president should personally take command of a fire team and tell them where to direct suppressing fire, but if he does, they have an obligation to follow his orders. Overall, the planning is typically best left to the generals. Although there are times when presidents have overridden them to good use, such instances are the exception. What is more important, is that the military is subordinate to civilian rule. Having a leader of our forces be a terrible strategist is not nearly as bad as having our leader fighting for the wrong side.

  8. #48
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    I can't really think of a scenario when the president should personally take command of a fire team and tell them where to direct suppressing fire, but if he does, they have an obligation to follow his orders.
    Actually, they're not obligated to obey the president's orders, in that particular situation.
    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.

  9. #49
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The chain of command is about who has the authority to make the call, not who is actually the most competent. I can't really think of a scenario when the president should personally take command of a fire team and tell them where to direct suppressing fire, but if he does, they have an obligation to follow his orders. Overall, the planning is typically best left to the generals. Although there are times when presidents have overridden them to good use, such instances are the exception. What is more important, is that the military is subordinate to civilian rule. Having a leader of our forces be a terrible strategist is not nearly as bad as having our leader fighting for the wrong side.
    This is completely correct. History tells us the military must be kept under a tight rein. This doesn't usually mean they shouldn't have tactical autonomy but to not allow the civilian side to overrule even this if it sees fit is giving the military too much absolute independence; almost always a negative.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  10. #50
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    Re: Who Should Have Final Say On Military Matters?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Actually, they're not obligated to obey the president's orders, in that particular situation.
    How do you figure that? He is at the top of the chain of command.

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