This is the closest I’ve seen a modern-era general come to one of the Patton-esque monologues of a bygone military era.
Why will our generals never do something like this? Two reasons.
1. Defense counsel will use such posturing, if it comes from a high-ranking military official, to substantiate allegations of unlawful command influence in judicial proceedings for the foreseeable future. After all, anything that high-ranking Generals, service secretaries, and POTUS say about current and future judicial proceedings can be used by innovative defense attorneys to gain traction on behalf of their clients. Courts already firmly believe that unlawful command influence is the “mortal enemy of military justice.” Our generals are mindful of this and will take steps to ensure that they never approach it.
2. Our federal bureaucracy does not and will not tolerate high-ranking individuals acting like gunslingers. We promote and reward those who are safe and sanitary. Risk-takers (in word and/or deed) need not apply.
Don’t get me wrong. I like what he says. I love how he says it. While many may support what he says in this instance, our recent history shows that we are generally intolerant in the long-term of individuals who behave as he has in this video.
Our military is no longer what you see in movies. It evolved, by necessity (I suppose, and maybe a bit by atrophy), since Vietnam into something closer to other elements of our bloated federal bureaucracy rather than the military traditions established up to our war in Southeast Asia. This isn’t a hit on our individual service members, but rather the institutions that employ them. In fact, much of the inherent power of military commanders to maintain order and discipline has disappeared in the last 20-30 years, both directly and impliedly. They know that being second-guessed is usually a sign of a soon-to-be-dead career rather than a chance to roar out of the gates–having learned a very powerful and important lesson.
And it hurts their ability to deal with the sexual assault problems directly and decisively.
H/T RB Carter