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War Czar - Unconstitutional?

 
 
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 05:09 pm
You've seen the news by now -

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/15/war.czar.ap/index.html

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/POLITICS/05/15/war.czar.ap/story.lute.usmil.jpg

Quote:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a "war czar" after a long search for new leadership, administration officials said Tuesday.

In the newly created position, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would also maintain his military status and rank as a three-star general, according to a Pentagon official.


Does this not undercut the Civilian control of the military? According to ABC, he will have the power to direct the DoD, State, and other agencies.

I'm pretty sure that it's unConstitutional to put a military man in control of the military. As this position is subject to confirmation in the Senate, I expect this very point to lead to this candidate not in fact being confirmed.

Am I wrong here? Paging Constitutional Scholars!

Cycloptichorn
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 05:26 pm
I haven't looked into it any farther than what you posted but I don't see how it undercuts civilian control.

There is nothing in the Constitution about putting anyone in such a position - military or civilian. There is no mention of a Sec. of Defense in the Constitution, for example. The Constitution only outlines the postion of the President and the Congress. They are the civilians that the military is controlled by (from a Constitutional perspective).
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 05:42 pm
Sometimes I feel that I am living in the fiction of yesteryear. This is one of those.
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Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 05:56 pm
This most certainly seems to be unconstitutional, but I wonder if those who see the Bush administration as corrupt to the core are going to hop on this. I see another Karl Rove/Bush ploy here. Get a highly respected military man in charge, one who actually advocates removing our troop presence (which I've been screaming about endlessly for years now). Then Bush can say that he will listen to the "generals" on the ground, or in this instance, a highly respected military guy. As some may know, former commanders from Iraq are running adds condemning Bush for his failed policies, outright accusing him of not listening to his military leaders when Bush claimed that he was.

Perhaps the hope is that this will mitigate the damage as Bush does a major flip-flop on the concept of troop withdrawals and deadlines. It would also help Republicans, as Americans put FAR more trust in Dems to get us the hell out of there. Americans would then see Republicans changing their tone and agreeing with the concept of forcing the Iraqis to stand up by lowering our own troop levels.

Of course, they've been sticking with the endless argument that if we pull out, there will be chaos, genocide, and a highly unstable region that could his us hard when it comes to our pocketbooks. But they've been endlessly arguing in black and white terms, because that's mostly what the voters understand.

Just as the issue of abortion will become much more nuanced coming from the GOP, the same may apply soon for how they address this war. This may be the set-up for that new and subtle policy change. And those who want us out (mostly liberals and Democrats as well as many conservatives) may be somewhat silent regarding the Constitutional impact if this equates to starting the process in getting us out of Iraq.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 06:05 pm
Dookiestix wrote:
This most certainly seems to be unconstitutional...


Based on what? What clause of the Constitution is being violated?
0 Replies
 
Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 06:15 pm
fishin wrote:
Dookiestix wrote:
This most certainly seems to be unconstitutional...


Based on what? What clause of the Constitution is being violated?

The President of the United States is the sole Commander and Chief of the Military. The Secretary of Defense answers to him, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are responsible for the readiness of our military. But they do NOT have operational command authority.

C'mon, you knew that, right? Also, Congress has the power of the purse, and can force the Executive Branch to pull troops out at any given time.

The Military does NOT have the Constitutional right to start a war. That responsibility lies exclusively with the Legislative Branch.

There is nothing in the Constitution that states that the Military has authority over itself, except, perhaps, in the case of Martial Law.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 06:16 pm
Dookiestix wrote:
fishin wrote:
Dookiestix wrote:
This most certainly seems to be unconstitutional...


Based on what? What clause of the Constitution is being violated?

The President of the United States is the sole Commander and Chief of the Military. The Secretary of Defense answers to him, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are responsible for the readiness of our military. But they do NOT have operational command authority.

C'mon, you knew that, right? Also, Congress has the power of the purse, and can force the Executive Branch to pull troops out at any given time.

The Military does NOT have the Constitutional right to start a war. That responsibility lies exclusively with the Legislative Branch.

There is nothing in the Constitution that states that the Military has authority over itself, except, perhaps, in the case of Martial Law.


So, what exactly will this guy do that wasn't being done before?

Other than cutting Bush out of the loop on strategic decisions. Which probably will be a net positive. But, that goes against the 'civilian control of the military.'

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 06:27 pm
Dookiestix wrote:
fishin wrote:
Dookiestix wrote:
This most certainly seems to be unconstitutional...


Based on what? What clause of the Constitution is being violated?

The President of the United States is the sole Commander and Chief of the Military. The Secretary of Defense answers to him, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are responsible for the readiness of our military. But they do NOT have operational command authority.


Cite the reference in the Constitution that specifically mentions the Sec. of Defense or the Joint Chiefs of Staff and states their responsibilities/functions.

As an advisor to the President, this guy doesn't violate the Constitutional provision that makes the President the Commander-in-Chief.

Quote:
C'mon, you knew that, right? Also, Congress has the power of the purse, and can force the Executive Branch to pull troops out at any given time.

The Military does NOT have the Constitutional right to start a war. That responsibility lies exclusively with the Legislative Branch.

There is nothing in the Constitution that states that the Military has authority over itself, except, perhaps, in the case of Martial Law.


None of which is relevant to the topic. This appointment doesn't change any Constitutional authority granted to the Congress nor does it grant any authority to the military to "start a war". IOW, you are throwing out crap because you can't back up your statement.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 06:39 pm
Every cog in the machine has a purpose (usually) I imagine this cogs purpose will be the scapegoat when the occupation of Iraq new strategy fails.
0 Replies
 
Dookiestix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 12:17 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Dookiestix wrote:
fishin wrote:
Dookiestix wrote:
This most certainly seems to be unconstitutional...


Based on what? What clause of the Constitution is being violated?

The President of the United States is the sole Commander and Chief of the Military. The Secretary of Defense answers to him, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are responsible for the readiness of our military. But they do NOT have operational command authority.

C'mon, you knew that, right? Also, Congress has the power of the purse, and can force the Executive Branch to pull troops out at any given time.

The Military does NOT have the Constitutional right to start a war. That responsibility lies exclusively with the Legislative Branch.

There is nothing in the Constitution that states that the Military has authority over itself, except, perhaps, in the case of Martial Law.


So, what exactly will this guy do that wasn't being done before?

Other than cutting Bush out of the loop on strategic decisions. Which probably will be a net positive. But, that goes against the 'civilian control of the military.'

Cycloptichorn
Exactly!
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 01:09 am
dyslexia wrote:
Every cog in the machine has a purpose (usually) I imagine this cogs purpose will be the scapegoat when the occupation of Iraq new strategy fails.


a/p - september 1, 2007

general douglas lute - " did anybody get the number of that bus that hit me??".

the ghost of jimi hendrix - "tire tracks all across my back, i can see you've had your fun".
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 08:40 am
Appointing a military man to be the "war czar" isn't unconstitutional, it's just unnecessary. The functions of a "war czar" should be performed right now by the president's national security advisor. The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 09:14 am
joefromchicago wrote:
The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.


Does that really need to be explained? Hadley is a policy wonk flunky. He doesn't actually do anything.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 09:19 am
fishin wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.


Does that really need to be explained? Hadley is a policy wonk flunky. He doesn't actually do anything.


So, who is currently performing the duties/responsibilities that the new guy will perform?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 09:52 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
fishin wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.


Does that really need to be explained? Hadley is a policy wonk flunky. He doesn't actually do anything.


So, who is currently performing the duties/responsibilities that the new guy will perform?

Cycloptichorn


So far it looks like it is a combination of:
Gen. Gene Renuart, U.S Air Force Commander, U.S. Northern Command
Admiral Timothy J. Keating, U.S. Navy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
Admiral James G. Stavridis U.S Navy Commander, U.S. Southern Command
Admiral William Fallon, U.S. Navy Commander U.S. Central Command
General Bantz J. Craddock, U.S. Army Commander, U.S. European Comand
General Lance Smith, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command
Gen. Bryan D. Brown, US Army Commander, U.S. Special Forces Command
Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Transportation Command
General James E. Cartwright, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
and...

Acting Assistant Secretary Stephen Mull of the State Dept. Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 09:54 am
fishin wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
fishin wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.


Does that really need to be explained? Hadley is a policy wonk flunky. He doesn't actually do anything.


So, who is currently performing the duties/responsibilities that the new guy will perform?

Cycloptichorn


So far it looks like it is a combination of:
Gen. Gene Renuart, U.S Air Force Commander, U.S. Northern Command
Admiral Timothy J. Keating, U.S. Navy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
Admiral James G. Stavridis U.S Navy Commander, U.S. Southern Command
Admiral William Fallon, U.S. Navy Commander U.S. Central Command
General Bantz J. Craddock, U.S. Army Commander, U.S. European Comand
General Lance Smith, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command
Gen. Bryan D. Brown, US Army Commander, U.S. Special Forces Command
Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Transportation Command
General James E. Cartwright, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
and...

Acting Assistant Secretary Stephen Mull of the State Dept. Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.


Um, yeah, but who is the person overseeing all of them right now? Because that's what the Czar will be doing - overseeing and coordinating action between these folks. So who is currently doing this?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 09:59 am
Lieutenant GeneralDouglas E. Lute
I'm suspicious of any military officer willing to accept this job that is nothing more than a future scapegoat? ---BBB

Lieutenant GeneralDouglas E. Lute
Director for Operations, J-3

Douglas E. Lute, originally from Michigan City, Indiana, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1975. His first assignment was to the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bindlach, Germany, where he commanded C Troop. He received a master's degree from Harvard University and taught in the Social Sciences department at West Point.

Following attendance at the British Army Staff College, he returned to the Second Cavalry as operations officer, serving both at the squadron and regimental levels. In 1990-91 he deployed and fought with the Regiment in Operation DESERT STORM, and later served on the staff of the Chief of Staff of the Army.

He commanded 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas from 1992-94. He then served on the Joint Staff in the Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, and held a War College Fellowship at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

From 1998-2000 he commanded the Second Cavalry Regiment, part of XVIII Airborne Corps, at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He served next as the executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for 14 months before joining the First Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany, as the Assistant Division Commander. He commanded Multi-national Brigade East in Kosovo for 6 months in 2002 before being assigned to US European Command in January 2003 as the Deputy Director of Operations.

In June 2004, he began more than two years as Director of Operations (J-3) at US Central Command during which he oversaw combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa. He assumed duties as Director of Operations, the Joint Staff, in September 2006.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 10:10 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
fishin wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
fishin wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.


Does that really need to be explained? Hadley is a policy wonk flunky. He doesn't actually do anything.


So, who is currently performing the duties/responsibilities that the new guy will perform?

Cycloptichorn


So far it looks like it is a combination of:
Gen. Gene Renuart, U.S Air Force Commander, U.S. Northern Command
Admiral Timothy J. Keating, U.S. Navy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
Admiral James G. Stavridis U.S Navy Commander, U.S. Southern Command
Admiral William Fallon, U.S. Navy Commander U.S. Central Command
General Bantz J. Craddock, U.S. Army Commander, U.S. European Comand
General Lance Smith, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command
Gen. Bryan D. Brown, US Army Commander, U.S. Special Forces Command
Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Transportation Command
General James E. Cartwright, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
and...

Acting Assistant Secretary Stephen Mull of the State Dept. Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.


Um, yeah, but who is the person overseeing all of them right now? Because that's what the Czar will be doing - overseeing and coordinating action between these folks. So who is currently doing this?

Cycloptichorn


As a result of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 all of those military people report directly to the President for operational purposes. Mull reports the the Sec. of State.

The "Czar" function creates an intermediary between these functions and the President.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 10:16 am
fishin wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
fishin wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
fishin wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
The administration, however, has not adequately explained why Stephen Hadley, the current NSA, needs someone else to do his job.


Does that really need to be explained? Hadley is a policy wonk flunky. He doesn't actually do anything.


So, who is currently performing the duties/responsibilities that the new guy will perform?

Cycloptichorn


So far it looks like it is a combination of:
Gen. Gene Renuart, U.S Air Force Commander, U.S. Northern Command
Admiral Timothy J. Keating, U.S. Navy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
Admiral James G. Stavridis U.S Navy Commander, U.S. Southern Command
Admiral William Fallon, U.S. Navy Commander U.S. Central Command
General Bantz J. Craddock, U.S. Army Commander, U.S. European Comand
General Lance Smith, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command
Gen. Bryan D. Brown, US Army Commander, U.S. Special Forces Command
Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Transportation Command
General James E. Cartwright, U.S. Air Force Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
and...

Acting Assistant Secretary Stephen Mull of the State Dept. Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.


Um, yeah, but who is the person overseeing all of them right now? Because that's what the Czar will be doing - overseeing and coordinating action between these folks. So who is currently doing this?

Cycloptichorn


As a result of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 all of those military people report directly to the President for operational purposes. Mull reports the the Sec. of State.

The "Czar" function creates an intermediary between these functions and the President.


Thanks.

So, isn't it fair to say that a 'War Czar' is only necessary b/c Bush isn't performing these duties adequately? Otherwise, it's unnecessary.

What more, is this gentleman getting paid to do this job? Why, if these are the duties which are assigned to the President, are the taxpayers paying two people to do the same job?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 May, 2007 10:31 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Thanks.

So, isn't it fair to say that a 'War Czar' is only necessary b/c Bush isn't performing these duties adequately? Otherwise, it's unnecessary.

What more, is this gentleman getting paid to do this job? Why, if these are the duties which are assigned to the President, are the taxpayers paying two people to do the same job?

Cycloptichorn


I suppose whether anyone thinks it is "fair" to say that Bush isn't doing his job adequately is open to interpretation. Up until the Goldwater-Nichols Act the "War Czar" function was performed by the Sec. of Defense (or Sec. of War depending on which year you are looking at). If it is fair to say that this function is necessary only because Bush isn't doing his job adequately then would it be equally fair to say that all of the Presidents prior to 1986 weren't doing their job adequately as well?

The organization created by the Goldwater-Nichols Act may work in peace time but, IMO, it is a stupid idea during a time of war. Meh, on second thought it is a stupid idea entirely. The DoD "Staff" that it creates have no operational control or function. It creates a lot of overhead and multiple chains of command - all of which are generally bad for military organizations.
0 Replies
 
 

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