Tuesday, March 4, 2008

McCain and the War... Continued

My friend Paul has a response to my McCain and the War post. I disagree with some of the points (for reasons I will make clear later today), but I think it's pretty good, so in the interest of having a broader perspective, here it is.
From Robert McNamara to Donald Rumsfeld civilian control of the military via DoD has been on whole pretty bad. Moreover the job of the Commander-in-Chief is to set policy and delegate not micromanage war. Your entitled to disagree with the policy but its simply incorrect to believe McCain is wrong "to leave war to the generals,"-as you phrase it. Senator Clinton like McCain understands that the military is more adept to dealing with military issues than civilians. For months she has been pressing the Pentagon for data relating to an eventual withdrawal of American troops. She has been continually filibustered by the Pentagon most likely because planning for such a withdrawal does not exist or the Bush Admin. refuses to disclose it b/c they fear the momentum for withdrawal it might build. The point is that McCain's intended policy to continue to prosecute the war and Hillary's intended policy to withdraw are very different but neither one is going to ignore the military's sound and smart analysis of how best to meet that policy's goal. No matter what your liberal suspicion about the military tells you, military commanders are apolitical, which is more than you can say for your average washington bureaucrat, all they ask is that you keep such bureaucrats from telling them how to do their job and in the end if civilian leadership can make good on their end of that deal the military in most cases will achieve the policy objective.

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