They would like to know Trump's intent in North Korea, Syria and elsewhere.
Assuming he actually has one or has even thought that far ahead, which is unlikely, as he appears to run everything like he's still appearing on his Reality TV show.
They dispatched the carrier strike force toward North Korea. They launched the cruise missiles at Syria. But the U.S. military, stung when it was sent to war before without a clear plan and then blamed for the resulting mess, is expressing caution about being thrust deeper into any of the conflicts raging around the world.
Combat-ready American and allied troops are deployed today against heavily armed opposing forces in Europe and the Korean peninsula. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, U.S. and NATO commander in Europe and the former top U.S. commander in South Korea, last year described their situation like this: They’re ready “to fight tonight if deterrence fails.” But a plan would be good.
After 15 years of bloody, inconclusive war in Iraq and Afghanistan, experienced military officers are looking to President Donald Trump not just to pull the trigger on military action when needed. They’re looking for a coherent statement of American goals and a coordinated strategy that combines military force with economic, political, diplomatic, cyber and media power ― and doesn’t leave the war to the military alone.
“There is a limit, I think, to what we can do,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this week at a Pentagon news conference, when asked about next steps the military might take in Syria following the April 7 missile attack.
Mattis, a retired Marine four-star general with years of warfighting experience, indicated that he’s in no rush to send U.S. forces into combat as the sole instrument of American power.
In a book he co-authored with Hoover Institution scholar Kori Schake last year, Mattis argued that the public and politicians are “implausibly expecting military force to produce sophisticated political, economic and cultural outcomes.” That’s not the military’s job, but “inherently a political undertaking.”
“In free societies, politicians must choose the political ends,” Mattis and Schake wrote. “They must also determine what price ― in blood, treasure and national credibility ― to pay for those ends.” Read more...