You know we’re getting close to election day when the Democrat candidate for president pretends to care about the nation’s armed forces and, occasionally, even finds some to endorse her candidacy. But two can play at that game:
Donald J. Trump’s campaign released an open letter on Tuesday from about 90 retired generals and military officials endorsing his presidential campaign, urging a “long overdue course correction in our national security posture.”
The letter in support of Mr. Trump, signed by 88 retired military figures, comes as the campaign prepares for a week focused on national security, with a forum hosted by NBC and MSNBC on Wednesday evening alongside Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.
“The 2016 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to make a long overdue course correction in our national security posture and policy,” the letter states. “As retired senior leaders of America’s military, we believe that such a change can only be made by someone who has not been deeply involved with, and substantially responsible for, the hollowing out of our military and the burgeoning threats facing our country around the world,” the generals and admirals write. “For this reason, we support Donald Trump’s candidacy to be our next commander in chief.”
There hasn’t been a Democrat since John Kennedy who’s shown the slightest bit of respect for our armed forces, or an awareness of their capabilities and limitations. Lyndon Johnson deployed them in a war that should have been fought to win, but wasn’t, and his fecklessness has been imitated ever since, by Carter, Clinton, and Obama. Indeed, under Obama, the U.S. military’s chief function is to serve as ROE-restricted cannon fodder against tribal goat farmers.
The fact is, Trump is likely to use the military less, not more, than Obama, and to use it far more wisely. Owing nothing to the neocons’ mad desire to turn various patches of Hell into Jeffersonian democracies, he’s likely to employ it solely for blunt force trauma, administered where and when the need arises. Get in, kill everybody, blow stuff up, leave.
Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, is seeking to blunt an edge that Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state, has established either from retired military figures like Gen. John R. Allen, or from the tacit boost she could receive from Republican national security and foreign policy experts who have denounced Mr. Trump.
And Mr. Trump’s reorganized campaign is looking to craft an image of him as a palatable commander in chief, particularly ahead of his first debate with Mrs. Clinton on Sept. 26.
The group of signatories was put together by Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow of the Army, a Holocaust survivor, and Rear Adm. Charles Williams of the Navy. “I think it more than trumps” the list of people backing Mrs. Clinton, said Keith Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant general who is advising Mr. Trump on national security.
The abuse of our military since George W. Bush decided that the proper response to 9/11 was to attack a “country” that had nothing to do with it, and to offer sweet tea to the savages dwelling in the benighted land that harbored Osama bin Laden, has been a national disgrace.