May 29, 2011

"Since taking office as a wartime president in 2009, Obama has struggled at times to surround himself with military commanders whom he trusts and feels personally comfortable with."

WaPo reports:
Supporters of [Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright]...  said he ultimately paid a political price for giving independent military advice to Obama that sometimes conflicted with counsel provided by Gates — his civilian boss at the Pentagon — and Mullen....

“He was very aware he was providig [sic] guidance that was not in alignment” with the rest of the Pentagon, said a military officer close to Cartwright who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations with the White House. But Cartwright felt compelled to give an independent assessment to the president, even if it risked alienating Gates and Mullen, the military officer said. “He was told [by Obama], ‘No, don’t just give me the old line, Hoss. Give me your opinion.’”

26 comments:

Roger J. said...

This story calls to mind of of my old boss, GEN Creighton Abrams (RIP), who alway told us to never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut.

An example? General Maxwell Taylor whose book an Uncertain Trumpet, influenced JFK to get us involved in counter insurgency operations world wide and was probably influential in our Viet Nam involvement.

This post is particularly applicable on this memorial day--my heartfelt to salute to my fallen comrades.

AllenS said...

my heartfelt to salute to my fallen comrades.

Same here, Roger.

Skyler said...

I find it a little hard to feel sorry for an individual in his circumstance. He will retire as a General with 40 years of service. He has accolades and awards and a very sweet pension. If he chooses to continue to work as a civilian he will is valued greatly by many defense-related industries, especially as a pilot. There are too many men that I've served with that have lost much more of value, such as legs and lives. An officer who is afraid to speak his mind out of fear of losing his career would be someone that should be eased out of the way, at the very least.

My only concern is the effect on other generals. This politicization, real or just perceived, is a dangerous road for our military. Perhaps B. Hussein has just made it seem through his failure to work appropriately with his subordinates that he will throw them under the bus if they speak their minds.

But then again, this is from the Washington Post, so there is likely an agenda for them to write this. It could very well be that the general's wife knows what we all fear to be true, that the general did not really have a good reason for a subordinate female officer to be in his room. There may not be enough evidence to convict, but it's enough for common sense.

Or perhaps B. Hussein is returning to the days, not so long ago, when it was assumed that any man who couldn't keep his own family intact could not be trusted to keep his military command intact. Divorce was disqualifying for command back as recently as the 70's in the navy, if my dad's stories are true.

nevadabob said...

"... said a military officer close to Cartwright who spoke on the condition of anonymity ... "

You want someone to trust in Washington, D.C. get a fucking dog.

Barack Obama can't find anyone to trust because he's surrounded himself with Democrats. Untrustworthy people who CONSTANTLY leak anonymously to the press to stroke their own pitiful egos.

Like they always say: Surround yourself with dogs, don't bitch about the fleas.

Mary Beth said...

Poor Barack, being forced to work "with military commanders whom he trusts and feels personally comfortable with." Life is so unfair.

He got "off to a cool start with Petraeus" because he viewed him as a potential rival. Perhaps being more worried about his own future than that of the country is what keeps him from making better choices in advisers.

Phil 3:14 said...

Has this not always been so? Didn't Lincoln struggle mightily with his military men? Is this not the expected result of civilian control of the military and isn't that in some way a good thing?

PS Nevadbob I believe you're beating out Shouting Thomas as the Althouse curmudgeon.

EDH said...

Cartwright, however, did not end up as Obama’s guy. In recent weeks, the cerebral but introverted general, who goes by the nickname “Hoss,” became the casualty of a concerted lobbying campaign by critics inside the Pentagon who persuaded the president to bypass him.

Obama has since settled on Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey as his pick to become chairman...


What's Dempsey's nickname, Hop Sing?

Never before seen video of the behind the scenes bureaucratic infighting.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This is a tough situation for Cartwright - the Pentagon should have been willing to provide a range of options to the President, along with a realistic assessment of the outcome of each of them. If they didn't that's their fault.

It's certainly a possibility that they did present that range, but that they wouldn't back away from what their recommended option was, and the President went looking for someone who would recommend what he wanted to hear.

If Cartwright was asked for his opinion, he is obligated to give it, even if disagrees with what SecDef recommends. The biggest issue would be how he presented his opinions.

Seeing Red said...

"...Since taking office as a wartime president in 2009, Obama has struggled at times to surround himself with military commanders whom he trusts and feels personally comfortable with...."

Oddly enuf, it seems we can say the same for Michelle.


Did I read this article wrong? Milhous got p'owned by the military?

Seeing Red said...

"...Since taking office as a wartime president in 2009, Obama has struggled at times to surround himself with military commanders whom he trusts and feels personally comfortable with...."

Or,

It's Bush's Fault?

Cos they r Bush's military?

LOLOLOL

FedkaTheConvict said...

I'm more surprised that James Amos hasn't yet been forced out as Commandant of the Marine Corps for his opposition to the repeal of DADT.

Chase said...

Last night I watched Chris Matthews ask Andrew Sullivan and Joe Klein if the military has more respect for Obama than they did for President Bush. Everyone on the panel agreed that Obama is more respected by the Us Armed Forces than President George W Bush.


So, now we know.

The Drill SGT said...

Skyler said...I find it a little hard to feel sorry for an individual in his circumstance. He will retire as a General with 40 years of service.

Ultimately, almost everybody (e.g. everybody but Dempsey) gets passed over. No shame in that. Shame comes in not doing your F'ing job because of political considerations and trying to kiss somebody's ass to get promoted.

Interesting spin on the story. Cartwright losing out because he gives the boss honest advice, (implied, unlike those other guys in the Pentagon). Yet, Mulins and Gates get slammed for apparently giving Obama honest advice that Cartwright had some issues.

The General's aide story... something still stinks in that. Most Generals would can or at least repremand an Aide that got drunk on duty once, much less twice. Given that she's a she, it led his wife at least to question his judgement and wonder why... so do I.

Here's to Abe (Creighton) and the rest of our absent companions.

The Drill SGT said...

Chase said...Everyone on the panel agreed that Obama is more respected by the Us Armed Forces than President George W Bush.

ROFLMAO. O'yeah, right. Those three are certainly experts.

virgil xenophon said...

So far unmentioned here is the additional fact that Obama is getting ready to gut the armed forces
in the next budget (FAR better than cutting "affordable housing" grants and other "social" domestic programs etc., the lifeblood of the Democratic Party) and he needed a compliant General--which "Hoss" was not. The guy Obama DID select is very much a "go along" guy if one reads what he has uttered to date on the public record; an impression backed up by the by those commenting on most milblogs who knew him or worked with or for him.

edutcher said...

The test of a President is how he can take news that upsets the apple cart of his agenda. So far, Little Zero has been shown to only want people who think the way he does.

George Marshall was often the bearer of bad news to the schemes of Franklin Roosevelt, but FDR came to prize him far above Ernie King, even though Roosevelt liked to refer to the Army as "them" and the Navy as "us".

PS As the WaPo notes, Cartwright may also have been undone by a vindictive wife.

virgil xenophon said...

Oh, and for the record, as an ex-AF officer who is fairly involved with the milblog "community" of both active and retired officers and enlisted in all branches of the armed forces the very idea that Obama is more respected than Bush is risible on its face--HIGHLY risible.

The more accurate description might be: ROTFLMAOPIMP! at the very thought..

Roger Fortier said...

No one initiates an investigation of a 4 star general, and the Vice Chairman of the JCS, without due cause.
Apparently, the general's wife was unimpressed with her husband's clearance by the Pentagon Inspector General, and left him.

The perception that Cartwright was derailed because he deviated from the Gates' party line and had an "insular" leadership style would not matter to Obama, who apparently 'struggles' to find military advisors he can trust. And Cartwright was one of them.

Obama didn't get elected to fight the war on terror, but to reshape the domestic landscape into a socialist paradise. That means taking defense dollars and routing them to entitlement programs and slush funds for political allies. To do that, he needs trusted uniformed enablers as front cover to take down our military capabilities. With the allegations of sexual misconduct hanging over him, Cartwright was perceived by Obama and staff as politially vulnerable, and thus, not useful for the real endgame.

Jose_K said...

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/05/who-said-it-fun-quiz.html

The Drill SGT said...

the very idea that Obama is more respected than Bush is risible on its face--HIGHLY risible.

All you have to do is look at this picture of a likely O'bama voter and ask yourself what he thinks about President Bush going out of his way....


Bush loves the troops and they return that love...

FedkaTheConvict said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harold said...

Chase said...
Last night I watched Chris Matthews ask Andrew Sullivan and Joe Klein if the military has more respect for Obama than they did for President Bush. Everyone on the panel agreed that Obama is more respected by the Us Armed Forces than President George W Bush.


So, now we know.

They actually said this? Do they actually KNOW anyone in the armed forces? OMG, LOL, ROFL, all the acronyms apply.

cryptical said...

I think Andy Sullivan blew a Marine once...

Robin said...

Obama has clearly never learned the disadvantages of surrounding himself with second-raters and yes-men.

Comes from being a second-rater and yes-man himself.

Competent people are not uncomfortable dealing with other competent people, even people more competent than themselves.

Robert said...

Forget the General, they always screw it up and it's the NCOs who make it OK, not 100 percent OK but up til now in our history, passable OK. But Chris, Joe and Andy as military commentators? Some guys can't get off the bus, some wet the bed the first night, others cry inconsolably for Mom and are gone by the end of the week. Of those three who lasts the longest in this mind game? By that token how long would Obama have lasted, not quite the Harvard Law Review is it.

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