Monday, December 22, 2008

A Silent Military Coup?

Thomas A. Schweich has an article in the Washington Post that combines some useful analysis & thought-provoking suggestions, with hysterical overreaction.  The opening paragraph starts out with the author calling himself a "life-long Republican and son of a Retired Airforce colonel." My first thought was -- not a good sign.  Lately an introduction like that often indicates that a pile of left-wing nonsense will soon follow.  Sure enough, he then asserts that
the most unnerving legacy of the Bush administration is the encroachment of the Department of Defense into a striking number of aspects of civilian government. Our Constitution is at risk.
He argues that we need to
reverse the current trend of Pentagon encroachment upon civilian government functions, or they could complete the silent military coup d'etat

Despite this ridiculously hyperbolic language, the rest of the article is actually worth reading. Although some of his fears border on paranoia, he makes a solid case that the Pentagon has too much power vis a vis the State Department, the Justice Department, and other agencies involved with U.S. foreign policy,  and notes that former & serving military officers have been dominating civilian agencies.  He gives specific proposals to reverse this trend, including getting rid of Rumsfeld holdovers, putting more civilians in charge of important positions, and transferring money and responsibility away from the Pentagon in some areas. 

UPDATE There's a good critique of the article here

1 comment:

  1. You know, I was concerned about Bush's blatant disregard of civil liberties and his immunity to criticism, back in 2002 when it actually mattered. I think I might be forgiven for thinking that the time to excoriate Bush was then, and not less than a month before he's leaving office. Shooting fish in a barrel is a waste of bullets.