GOOD: Popular Generals Take Huge Stand Against Barack ObamaIn most countries around the world, when a number of high-ranking military officers take a public stand against the country’s leadership, it’s a sign that a military coup is in the offing. In America, however, it’s a sign that our First Amendment guarantee of free speech is still alive and well–at least for now.
It’s one thing when retired generals, whose military careers are obviously behind them, speak out against a sitting president. This has often been the case lately. For example, retired U.S. Army Major General Paul E. Vallely has been vocal about his belief that American liberty will only be restored through peaceful marches and protests to force the resignations of key political leaders, including President Obama. General Vallely has been joined by Air Force Brigadier General Charles Jones to create a “citizen’s council” directly challenging the administration’s policy decisions. Obama’s treatment of Islamic terrorists, including his trade of several Guantanamo Bay detainees for accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl has drawn fire from two other retired generals, Air Force Major General Bentley Rayburn and four-star Army General Jack Keane.
Particularly in regards to the drug trade, murder rates and terrorist activity brewing in Central America, Kelly says, the waves of Latin Americans sweeping through Mexico and illegally into Texas presents a threat to the U.S. every bit as serious as Iran or North Korea.The leaders of America’s armed forces have a unique perspective on governance, as they are often close to the decision makers and sometimes called upon to enact, or clean up after, policy decisions. Their opinions are not, of course, of inherently more value than anyone else’s–although they are typically better informed.
“In comparison to other global threats, the near collapse of societies in [this] hemisphere with the associated drug and [illegal immigrant] flow are frequently viewed to be of low importance,” Kelly said in an interview with Defense One. “Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”
It isn’t the first time Kelly has sounded the alarm. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Kelly complained that budget cuts in recent years have handcuffed the military’s ability to shut down many drug and human trafficking corridors.
However, they are long-service officers and have served under multiple administrations, allowing them to draw comparisons and contrasts between leaders and policies.
To put it bluntly: when this many generals with this much combined experience observing, implementing, and evaluating U.S. policy agree that America is headed in the wrong direction, the American people would be fools not to pay attention.