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A retired Army lieutenant general once said to me that there is no Constitutional provision for civilian control of the military, except in that the president, a civilian, is the commander-in-chief.
So where does civilian control come from? Is it more custom than anything else? And is it just the executive’s right?
If so, is Congress just butting in by controlling the money the military gets?
No, in fact. I noticed this the other day whilst doing some research. Congressional control of the military was explicitly part of the creation of the U.S. Army. On June 15, 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress chose George Washington to command the new Army. The next day he accepted.
In other words, formal, explicit civilian control of the military not only predates the Constitution, it predates by more than a year the Declaration of Independence, and began with the selection of the first soldier in the Army. (I can’t believe I didn’t know this.)
On reflection, I think Washington may have been the most Clausewitzian of all American generals. Yes, before he was a president, he was a general. But before he was a general, he was a minor politician for 15 years, first in the Virginia House of Burgesses and then as a delegate to the 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses. He understood in his bones the nexus between politics and military operations.
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.