The United States’ President is also the Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed Forces, therefore, in theory, admirals and the generals in the many branches of the services have to adhere to the commands of their ostensible leader.
That’s why the movie that leaked today of Marine Corps General and current US Secretary of Defense James Mattis addressing our troops stationed overseas is quickly going generating and viral controversy.
While it is certainly no secret that the US is at one of the most politically split moments in its history, the military practice of eschewing overt partisan politics has a long heritage in this country, which, while it’s confronted a civil war, has never confronted the kind of military coups which are a normal phenomenon in less powerful democracies.
Following last week’s violent neo-Nazi protests and the overwhelming counter-protests by anti-fascists from all walks of life, the branches within this country haven’t been this crude because the Sixties (possibly the 1860’s or the 1960’s, take your choice).
It’s in this polarized environment which Secretary Mattis felt the need to talk to our committed and diverse forces that are representing and protecting our country in the foreign missions which they’re currently engaged in.
The movie, which has been taken at an undisclosed location overseas, features Mattis speaking to some gathering of ordinary troops, as opposed to a bunch of military brass. Feeling the need to address the issue of a divided nation within an environment in which cooperation and cohesion are of paramount significance, Mattis did not mince words:
“Our country right now, it’s got problems we don’t have from the military. You simply hold the line till our country gets back to understanding and respecting one another and showing it.”
While Mattis does not cite his boss, the Commander-In-Chief, anyone paying the least little attention to current events will probably know that understanding and respecting others of different backgrounds, cultural roots, and skin colors is not among President Trump’s main competencies, to vastly understate the situation.
Mattis proceeded to explain that America’s global power emanates from two resources, intimidation, an energy that’s somewhat straightforward to exert whenever your country’s military budget exceeds that of the subsequent 8 largest nations combined, and inspiration, something which Mattis stated that he expected to see America recover.
Needless to say, the Secretary did not cite Trump by name in bemoaning the lack of unity and the lack of inspiration, however the country is at the stage.
Let’s hope that the efforts of Secretary Mattis are powerful. The consequences of a military broken and at odds with itself as the country as a whole has been would not work well for the future of our democracy. No US taxpayer would look amongst a broken and heavily armed contingent of powers to war, nor could they prefer to view our democracy descend.
Check the movie out below.