Joint Chiefs Chair: Preparing for Chaos

posted at 8:35 pm on February 28, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Services, issued a warning to the Democratic presidential hopefuls today. The kind of rapid withdrawal from Iraq that Hillary Clinton has suggested and Barack Obama has demanded would lead to chaos and a breakdown of the gains achieved over the last year. He would carry out such an order, but cautioned against it:

The Joint Chiefs chairman has a word of warning to Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: A rapid of withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a “chaotic situation” and would “turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.

Admiral Mullen’s comments came in a response to a question about what the Joint Chiefs are doing to prepare for a new president, given that two of the candidates have called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

“We need to be prepared across the board for what a new president will bring,” Mullen said. “I do worry about a rapid withdrawal. . . [that would] turn around the gains we have achieved and struggled to achieve and turn them around overnight.”

Mullen didn’t endorse an extension of the surge, either. He needs to find 4,000 trainers for Afghanistan, which simply aren’t available until some of the troops in Iraq get returned home. However, he wants that to happen rationally, without risking a breakdown in Iraq’s security that could force the US to ramp up again in the future to retake the ground already held.

Mullen found himself an unlikely ally today, as Allahpundit noted earlier, when Angelina Jolie talked about the change in Iraq’s reality since her last visit. NGOs have started expanding operations, and American soldiers want to see the mission through now that success has become much more likely. This points out the problem with Barack Obama and the rest of the Iraq war opponents: they insist on looking backwards at the decision to invade Iraq rather than the reality of what we face now.

This got highlighted in the recent exchange between Obama and John McCain. Obama said he wanted to pull our troops out of Iraq so they can fight al-Qaeda. McCain pointed out that AQ exists in Iraq, to which Obama replied that AQ wasn’t there five years ago. While that’s factually untrue — Ansaar al-Islam existed there and had aligned themselves with AQ — it’s also irrelevant. Al-Qaeda exists there now, and withdrawing before stamping them out would be an invitation for them to follow in our wake to re-establish themselves once again in western Iraq.

One candidate wants to strategize with today’s reality in mind; the other two want to base their policies on 2002′s geopolitical situation. No wonder Admiral Mullen worries about chaos.

UPDATE: Commenter MB4 correctly notes that the JCOS does not have operational command over military forces, thanks to a reorganization in 1986.  However, Mullen did say this: “When a new president comes in, I will get my orders and I will carry them out.”  That was my frame of reference for the opening paragraph.   The JCOS is tasked with ensuring force readiness, so perhaps that is what Mullen meant.


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I will continue to say this no matter what the MSM tells me. McCain will not only beat Obama, he will win in a landslide and Obama will get destroyed in the debates.

noelgallagher2k on February 28, 2008 at 8:41 PM

Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Services

Not to quibble but shouldn’t that be, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 8:42 PM

It’s a bad sign when our military leaders have to prepare for the worst because a potential future POTUS might deliberately and willing put our military in a unfavorable and unwinnable situation by retreating from a mission which is currently enjoying major success.

Yakko77 on February 28, 2008 at 8:42 PM

I’m continually alarmed at how clueless Obama is. Someday soon the voting public will discover the Messiah has no clothes.

NNtrancer on February 28, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Good thing for the Democrats they do not ignore the military otherwise they really might want to stay in Iraq and stop blaming America first.

Oh wait!!! My bad….the Democrats want chaos, lose, and enjoy blaming America first!

azcop on February 28, 2008 at 8:43 PM

noelgallagher2k on February 28, 2008 at 8:41 PM

You might want to have plenty of beer on hand come election night.

Just in case you may need it.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 8:44 PM

MB4 is correct. We have no general staff in the US and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs commands nothing except the joint staff.

NNtrancer on February 28, 2008 at 8:44 PM

One candidate wants to strategize with today’s reality in mind; the other two want to base their policies on 2002’s geopolitical situation.

Two candidates are playing checkers and one is playing chess

scruplesrx on February 28, 2008 at 8:50 PM

The truth is they are just saying these things to win the election. If they tried to do it I believe the American people would rise up in revolt and kick them out of office. Of course I could be wrong, but I have faith in America to do the right thing.

limowilliam on February 28, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Barack Hussein Obama would be wise to realize there are adults in the house.

Kini on February 28, 2008 at 8:52 PM

The Republicans haven’t faced this weak an opponent since George McGovern. Even Carter could at least grow peanuts. Once the public sees Obama face someone who is not afraid to discuss the issues, they will see that if its not on the teleprompter he doesn’t know anything about it.

pedestrian on February 28, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Obama will lead this nation into oblivion. He’ll not only create chaos in Iraq; he will destroy our market economy and free enterprise system through the implementation of his socialist/Marxist state. He is quickly becoming a serious detriment to the future of the Republic.

rplat on February 28, 2008 at 8:58 PM

Some of you are really misuderestimating Obama’s electibility.

Dims in 1980 misunderestimated Reagan’s electibility.

How did that work out for them?

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 8:59 PM

Gains?

daileyck1 on February 28, 2008 at 8:59 PM

Like Charles Krauthammer, I fear the Obama bubble will burst after the election, and not before it.

There are simply too many people who are buying what he is selling. God help us.

The_Freeze on February 28, 2008 at 9:01 PM

There are simply too many people who are buying what he is selling. God help us.

The_Freeze on February 28, 2008 at 9:01 PM

Obama is selling hope and change.

That is what Reagan was “selling” and it worked out pretty well for him.

The substance of and how real the “hope and change” were/are is mostly irrelevant to electibility.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:07 PM

Obama = Not ready for prime-time.

Queasy on February 28, 2008 at 9:07 PM

There is no question that Barack Fitzgerald Obama is a featherweight non-thinker. But I have a feeling that he would keep our troops in Iraq just so he could claim the final victory. Yep, he’s that shallow.

Zorro on February 28, 2008 at 9:13 PM

This is 1972. Obama is just too far left for most people. Look at the polling in Florida allready. McCain is leading Billary and Obama. That is a good sign. Wait till Obama actually has to defend his positions against McCain.

JonRoss on February 28, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Obama is selling hope and change.

That is what Reagan was “selling” and it worked out pretty well for him.

The substance of and how real the “hope and change” were/are is mostly irrelevant to electibility.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:07 PM

No one could accuse Reagan of being “inexperienced” in 1980.

William Amos on February 28, 2008 at 9:17 PM

So many lives given in a noble cause, in vain if Obama carries through on his campaign “promises”.

oldguy on February 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Obama is selling hope and change.

That is what Reagan was “selling” and it worked out pretty well for him.

Reagan was selling an escape from economic, diplomatic, and at least tactical military failure. Reagan also appealed to our traditional value system and exuded a sense of strength and purpose the country had been sorely lacking. I suppose that “hope and change” was a related condition but Reagan and Obama are not similar political entities.

rplat on February 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Some of you are really misuderestimating Obama’s electibility.

Dims in 1980 misunderestimated Reagan’s electibility.

How did that work out for them?

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 8:59 PM

I hope you are wrong. Some think that the average Democrat is inherently racist , so they wont vote for BHO.

TheSitRep on February 28, 2008 at 9:19 PM

I suppose that “hope and change” was a related condition but Reagan and Obama are not similar political entities.

rplat on February 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

“Hope and change” was the emotion and that is how most swing voters vote. You can complain about it, but you really can’t do much about it, particularly with McCain as the Republican nominee.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:25 PM

Barack Hussein Obama would be wise to realize there are adults in the house.
Kini on February 28, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Well said.
I don’t care how smooth B.O. is, when these kinds of issues come up in the campaign he is going to look like smart-alecky teenager compared to McCain. It is a big weakness that even the drive-bys won’t be able to ignore completely. How can he possibly stand on the stump and disagree with the Joint Chiefs about the consequences of his proposed policy.

ReaganEvangelical on February 28, 2008 at 9:25 PM

Reagan had real vision, real solutions, real ideas. Tangible and realistic.

Barack Hussein Obama has only change and hope. Lofty plans and Hollywood realism.

Kini on February 28, 2008 at 9:25 PM

I hope you are wrong. Some think that the average Democrat is inherently racist , so they wont vote for BHO.

TheSitRep on February 28, 2008 at 9:19 PM

Maybe, remember though that Obama is half white, but a lot of them are inherently, “give me, give me, give me” and he will be promising a lot.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:27 PM

Reagan had real vision, real solutions, real ideas. Tangible and realistic.

Barack Hussein Obama has only change and hope. Lofty plans and Hollywood realism.

Kini on February 28, 2008 at 9:25 PM

You may know that but you are a political “junkie”, not a mostly not too interested in politics swing voter.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Yakko77 on February 28, 2008 at 8:42 PM

Truly sobering (MB4′s beer bash!) that the military is genuinely concerned. The pentagon does not have a horse in the race, they just want to ensure we don’t have to go back to hell in a couple of years if the defeato’s win in November.

dmann on February 28, 2008 at 9:30 PM

Hope and change” was the emotion and that is how most swing voters vote. You can complain about it, but you really can’t do much about it, particularly with McCain as the Republican nominee

Well then, if you are correct, our job is to reeducate attitudes and redefine the meaning of “hope and change”. With effort, that can be done.

rplat on February 28, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Obama wants to fight the Past.

Now that’s a Change.

profitsbeard on February 28, 2008 at 9:41 PM

You may know that but you are a political “junkie”, not a mostly not too interested in politics swing voter.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Thanks, I don’t consider myself a political junkie, at least no on the scale of some of the posters here, but a nice complement anyway.

I made my comment through experience. I lived through those years. Plus I’m more of a history buff junkie person… History is always a good reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Barack Hussein Obama has been here before, under different names and different faces, but the message is the same.

Kini on February 28, 2008 at 9:42 PM

Back to the subject of the post:

I have a question for the military folks on this board.

What is the protocol for a General, Admiral, or member of the Joint Chiefs to refuse an order and resign? I’ve heard a lot of chatter that some officers who were full of criticism *after* the Vietnam War or First Gulf War should have resigned in protest, rather than carry out orders they strongly felt were flawed.

So…if a future President Obama orders a quick withdrawl, can a member of the Joint Chiefs simply resign in protest, or is he duty-bound to carry out the order? Such an order would be lawful (Presidential authority and follow-through of an election promise), so I imagine a direct refusal might trigger a court-martial.

Can anyone out there enlighten us civilians?

Anton on February 28, 2008 at 9:44 PM

Anton on February 28, 2008 at 9:44 PM

Couple of things here.

A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is only an adviser. The Joint Chiefs advise the President and Sec of Defense on military matters, they do not have operational command and would not be in charge of any troops withdrawing, invading or doing anything else for that matter.

They can submit a resignation letter for their position and if they wish to. They can also submit a letter of resignation of their commission and request to leave the military. A resignation of a commission or a resignation of a position must be accepted before it can be acted upon.

bnelson44 on February 28, 2008 at 9:51 PM

Well then, if you are correct, our job is to reeducate attitudes and redefine the meaning of “hope and change”. With effort, that can be done.

rplat on February 28, 2008 at 9:32 PM

I tried to reeducate attitudes and redefine and stuff like that on shamnesty. I didn’t think that worked out so well as Juan Plantation McSmanesty is going to be the Republican nominee, but good luck.

MB4 on February 28, 2008 at 9:51 PM

What is the protocol for a General, Admiral, or member of the Joint Chiefs to refuse an order and resign? I’ve heard a lot of chatter that some officers who were full of criticism *after* the Vietnam War or First Gulf War should have resigned in protest, rather than carry out orders they strongly felt were flawed.

He can refuse and resign but I believe he puts his pension at risk. MacArthur disobeyed orders from Truman and was fired from his position as supreme commander in the Korean War, then was brought back stateside and got a reprimand, but that was about it. Anything else and there would have been a public outcry because of how MacArthur was loved by the country for his service in the Pacific in WWII.
I served with Adm. Mullen on the USS Fox in ’79 when he was a LCDR. He was a straight shooter then, as now. If he refuses and resigns, congress will simply appoint someone else on the JCS to take his place and reissue the order.

RMCS_USN on February 28, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Barrack Obama has a real scary and twisted view of the current situation in Irag!According to the Joint Chiefs,
they have every reason to speak out,—Liberal Chaos!

Barrack Obama has already stated that their was no AQ
in Irag until the United States Military showed up,and
then POOF,AQ all of a sudden materilized.Nuts!

If and I mean If,g!d forbid Liberals run the White House,
we will see stupid decisions,every descision will possibily
result in American Military casualties——–needless
casualties I might add!

I’m sure their will be a lot of indecisions by team Obama,
or team Hillary.Every time,maybe for the exception of World War Two the Liberals have BOTCHED every Military endeavour!

If the Liberals plan on a withdrawal,Moonbats have already
suggested that 600,000-to-a-1,000,000 Irags have died,and
that is bullsh!t!

However,if American Forces where to leave,under a Liberal
administration,this would amount to maybe the greatest
Military blunder in history,as well as the Lib Democrats
would be responsible for the deaths of said 600,000 to a
1,000,000 Iragys!

Iran would march in,and their caliphate would emerge bigger,
and we would see deaths in Irag that would rival what the
Nazi’s did or Stalin!

This Liberal version has all the makings of an absolute
Hollywood horror flick,accept CNN would be there to televise
it,much like the evacuation of South Vietnam!

canopfor on February 28, 2008 at 9:55 PM

How about this: IF Obamamessiah gets elected(which won’t happen), the Joints Chiefs say “screw you, we’re not going anywhere. Bring in Code Pink to remove us or leave us to be butchered by a bunch of rag tag jihadist”. It’ll almost be like the days of Rome when Generals told the senate to get lost and that’s that.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 28, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Man, when I came up with this bull(above) I thought I was a revolutionary. Then I started reading the rest of the posts, and feel like the guy who showed up when the keg was dry.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 28, 2008 at 10:05 PM

bnelson44 on February 28, 2008 at 9:51 PM

Correct. One thing I forgot is that after Vietnam, the rules were changed so that commander in the field controls the situation, not the Washington folks. Why? Because he’s there on the ground and can best assess what’s happening. The order goes to the CENTCOM commander because it’s his AOR (Area of Responsibility). In this case it’s Adm. Fallon.
No longer are wars fought by pencil-pushing petty bureaucrats along the beltway.

RMCS_USN on February 28, 2008 at 10:07 PM

This Liberal version has all the makings of an absolute
Hollywood horror flick,accept CNN would be there to televise
it,much like the evacuation of South Vietnam!

If the Libs get their way on this there is no way we’ll ever see it put on the TV or in print by the MSM. They will studiously ignore the whole situation while feeding us all a daily dose of the coming glories of increased taxation and ‘free’ healthcare.

trigon on February 28, 2008 at 10:12 PM

The Joint Chiefs chairman has a word of warning to Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: A rapid of withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a “chaotic situation” and would “turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.

Oh. I guess they didn’t think of that. They’ll probably change their minds now. Ya, right.

oakpack on February 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM

I’VE GOT A QUESTION ABOUT THESE NEW ARMOR VESTS THAT SUCK:

For anyone with knowledge of the situation: Our armed services has shown a great ability to adapt and overcome. Why can’t these new vests be modified on site to be lighter. Whether that means removing some plates in certain places or replacing certain pockets with other materials.
Why is this turning into a $35 Million Dolllar mistake. I know they have cancelled further orders, but seriously?

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM

So many lives given in a noble cause, in vain if Obama carries through on his campaign “promises”.

oldguy on February 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM

The lives are never “in vain”. One of the primary reasons for our country’s stability rides on the civilian control of the military.
Our service people serve honorably and some die in the process. They may be mismanaged or used in dubious military operations but their sacrifices are NEVER EVER in vain. It goes far beyond the specific operation or military campaign they gave their life for.

One more reason that the “I’ll vote for McCain when you pry the voting lever from my cold dead hands” crowd needs to reconsider its position.

Bradky on February 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM

Can anyone out there enlighten us civilians?

Anton on February 28, 2008 at 9:44 PM

They could indeed resign and likely won’t have their pension touched. But the best generals are the ones who would do the very best to carry out the orders while ensuring that the troops were not put at unnecessary risk in a retreat action. Once the safety of those under his or her command is assured resignation is okay in my opinion – not before.

Bradky on February 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM

JOHN MCCAIN GOING OUT AFTER RUMSFELD IS VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL TO MURTHA GOING OUT AFTER THOSE MARINES. Both situations are politicians doing and saying stuff that undermines the military and it is just as evil when McCain does it as it is when Murtha or Durbin does it.

highhopes on February 28, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Bradky, that’s the mindset you are dealing with here. When McCain criticized Bush and Rumsfeld for their mistakes in 2005-2006 he was just as bad as Jack Haditha Murtha and Dick Pol Pot Durbin.

The good news is that few folks could be so truly deranged as to believe that.

funky chicken on February 28, 2008 at 10:32 PM

Obama doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the millions of ignorant people who have made Obama a possibility. You can defeat Obama but you can’t change the minds of the mob.

DerKrieger on February 28, 2008 at 10:35 PM

DerKrieger, I dunno. Most of the Obama followers are ironic youth types who will discard him like last year’s eye shadow color if he loses. Their support is rather shallow, IMHO.

funky chicken on February 28, 2008 at 10:40 PM

“We need to be prepared across the board for what a new president will bring,” Mullen said. “I do worry about a rapid withdrawal

Pragmatism in the face of potentially a doofus at the wheel.

Speakup on February 28, 2008 at 10:44 PM

Of course the new “O”, as opposed to the old “O”prah, has brought out the youth (ignorant, emotional, devoid of historical context, etc) vote but what of the millions of Liberals of all ages that have been afflicted with BDS when Obama’s youth vote were still in middle school? The poor, the weak, the huddled masses yearning for the nanny state to love and care for them?

DerKrieger on February 28, 2008 at 10:46 PM

If Obambi is elected I’d love to see an Atlas shrugs moment when Big Business says “see ya!”. Of course that might impact me personally but, the Libs have to learn, eventually, the source of the tax money they like to spend.

DerKrieger on February 28, 2008 at 10:52 PM

Really. Don’t “support the troops” by electing Obama as their boss.

Here’s some info from a guy who is definitely not a fan of McCain on Obama and his top military advisor:

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2007

Shades of Tony McPeak
Anyone who served in the U.S. Air Force over the past 20 years experienced their share of unit reorganizations. Beginning in the early 1990s, the service initiated a series of efforts to restructure wing-level organizations. Among other things, the various schemes saw the resurrection of groups (as an intermediate-level organization, controlling operations, maintenance, or support squadrons), and the creation of new units that directed functions as diverse as weather and intelligence.

The mastermind of the reorganization effort was General Merrill “Tony” McPeak. As the Commander of Pacific Air Forces in the late 1980s, McPeak began tinkering with various reorganization concepts, including the so-called “Composite Wing,” which melded diverse aircraft, missions and personnel into a single unit. When McPeak became the Air Force Chief of Staff in 1991 (after the unfortunate dismissal of General Mike Dugan), the experiment was expanded across the service.

General McPeak retired from active duty in 1994, but even today, Air Force veterans of that era still shudder at the changes he tried to impose. The truly unfortunate served in the afore-mentioned composite wings, which created maintenance, personnel and logistical nightmares. Wings that operated a single type of aircraft were also reorganized, with the addition of new groups to manage functionally-grouped squadrons, and enlarged squadrons that, in some cases, absorbed tasks and duties that were previously beyond their control.

And, in case you’re wondering, the retired Chief of Staff is now serving as a senior advisor to the presidential campaign of Barrack Obama. Given General McPeak’s history, we can only imagine what the Air Force would look like under an Obama administration.

funky chicken on February 28, 2008 at 10:53 PM

Yawn. The threat of chaos is no reason to end up there for decades. If chaos is what we are worried about… that will ALWAYS be a concern because of the nature of the region and the people… should have thought of that before deciding to go to war and not squash all rebellion and trying to fight a war and play babysitter at the same time.

TOPV on February 28, 2008 at 11:15 PM

DerKrieger, I dunno. Most of the Obama followers are ironic youth types who will discard him like last year’s eye shadow color if he loses. Their support is rather shallow, IMHO.

This is not a joke. Those who think that the youth vote will leave you at the alter. Don’t believe it. This is not usuall. Many candidates have recruited the youth vote to an extent. This youth vote WILL show up. The only thing that will counter it, is the BABY BOOMERS. It’s the largest voting block in the country and getting bigger by the SECOND. Many of this block’s democratic vote is very much undecided about Obama. Many respect McCain’s service and moderation on many crucial issues. This is the real battleground. If Maverick is to win, he needs to convince 2 of 10 Baby Boomer Dems to vote Maverick. I know many Hotair readers treat me like a joke, because I love the Mav, but in all seriousness, this is what it is all about. I love all of you. Go to HE double hockey stix.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 28, 2008 at 11:19 PM

I’m continually alarmed at how clueless Obama is. Someday soon the voting public will discover the Messiah has no clothes.

NNtrancer on February 28, 2008 at 8:43 PM

You should be even more alarmed at how clueless his followers are. Obambi the Prophet is running entirely on emotion, not reason. Observers say they haven’t seen anything like this since the rise of fascism in the 1930s.

/Mr Lynn

MrLynn on February 28, 2008 at 11:27 PM

People in a democracy deserve their government. Somehow that is not much comfort.

WindJammer on February 28, 2008 at 11:29 PM

Great post and some great comments too!

I’m proud.

Domino on February 28, 2008 at 11:47 PM

Observers say they haven’t seen anything like this since the rise of fascism in the 1930s.

/Mr Lynn

MrLynn on February 28, 2008 at 11:27 PM

There are obviously differences, but the spectacle of women fainting in Obama’s presence certainly speaks of a disturbing cult-of-personality phenomenon that isn’t normal in US politics (as much as Reagan was loved by conservatives, did any of them actually swoon upon sight of him?). While I’m confident Obama has no designs to, say, invade Canada or send middle-class white males to death camps, his economic agenda (such that it can be determined) does smack of fascist socialism. And Hitler, too, induced the “swoon” effect. No matter how you cut it, socialism and charisma-driven exuberance is a creepy combination.

Of course, the worst of the worst psychophants tend to show up at the campaign rallies. If that kind of pseudo-psychotic reaction seems to be spreading in the general election, I’ll be more worried.

Blacklake on February 28, 2008 at 11:49 PM

Thanks to all who contributed to the “obey or resign?” discussion. Very educational.

Anton on February 29, 2008 at 12:05 AM

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, every intelligence service on the planet was positive that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Even the Democrats believed it. Yet, Obummer seems to be proud that he was so adamantly against the war. So my question to him would be, why, in the face of France, Russia and China trying to end sanctions against Iraq, and Saddam’s vows to seek revenge for the 1990 Gulf War, and the prospect of a renewed nuclear program, were you against regime change? What was Obummer’s solution, if not enforcing UN resolutions that the UN wouldn’t enforce? Wait until Saddam was a regional threat or worse before acting? What did you propose doing, Obama, other than letting the feckless United Nations allow Saddam to rearm? I notice that Obummer thinks now that we should let al-Qa’ida in Iraq regenerate before acting. I guess with Obummer, it’s better late than now.

NNtrancer on February 29, 2008 at 12:38 AM

Democrat strategy is “If we plug our ears and shut our eyes real tight, there will be no danger”!

landlines on February 29, 2008 at 1:31 AM

First off, there’s no such thing as “JCOS”. It’s “JCS”.

Second off, CJCS DOES have operational control of certain types of strategic forces, although not the type we have in Iraq and usually only on a day to day basis. MB4 is wrong.

Third, responding to some of the posts, Congress can only CONFIRM a CJCS-nominee, not appoint one of their own. DoD is in the Executive Branch, after all. Losing retirement pay shouldn’t be an issue for a four star, because, at a minimum, they’ll retire at the two-star level unless confirmed for three or four star pay. Two star retirement pay is better than most active duty folks make. Of course, by the time you get your third or fourth stars pinned on, you’re more politician than warrior, so unfortunately, it DOES weigh into the decision to retire or not.

Sloppy reporting.

rotorhead on February 29, 2008 at 1:58 AM

History? We don’t need no “Stin..kn history. After all it’s
all about collaps.. (oops) “change”.

Cretaceous on February 29, 2008 at 2:40 AM

The slippery slope is being oiled.

Cretaceous on February 29, 2008 at 2:46 AM

Well, I recall since 2004, all of the right wing blogs, pundits, book writers and Republican fund raisers wringing their hands over the “inevitable” Hillary. We were all pretty much resigned to a bruising 2008, that she and Master Bill would re-lead a hypnotized nation back into a Clinton co-presidency.

Then reality happened…

I do not fear Barak Hussein. I feel he was picked to show how utterly thin the so-called Clinton legacy really was. Just think– a 3 year Senator has torched that Legacy, and the inevitability of Hillary. Let’s just take that in for a minute.
He was given to us for a reason, and I believe he will be dismissed in November, and by quite a margin.

leftnomore on February 29, 2008 at 2:51 AM

I hear B.H.Obama is going to pick that “free money” guy (in the green suit w/ yellow ???’s all over it?). I’m sure he’d balance out BarrackHussein Obama’s lack of experience.

BadBrad on February 29, 2008 at 6:26 AM

I agree with leftnomore…Barak is an empty suit, and his beating Hillary in the primaries has more to do with a general dislike of Hillary, than a liking of Obama. Come the general election, Obama is going down, there’s nothing there.

DngrMse on February 29, 2008 at 7:20 AM

It’s a bad sign when our military leaders have to prepare for the worst because a potential future POTUS might deliberately and willing put our military in a unfavorable and unwinnable situation by retreating from a mission which is currently enjoying major success.

Yakko77 on February 28, 2008 at 8:42 PM

Just more evidence that our system of government is failing (due to liberalism). The military issuing a warning to the civilian government is common throughout the world. Perhaps one day here too the military, like in Turkey for ex., will become the guarantor of democracy–of a sort. There are worse fates.

JiangxiDad on February 29, 2008 at 7:26 AM

Just like here in Massachusetts, the voters were told “together we can”, I will reverse educational gains, I will increase crime, I have no legislative experience, I have no plans or ideas. Despite that, they still got drunk in his wonderful oratory skills and polished delivery and voted Cadillac Deval into office with unprecedented percentages.

Once the voters woke up the next day and realized they voted in a bull shnitzer who’s first priority was to spend $15 grand on new curtains to pimp the gov’s crib, and tossed the prudent Cown Victoria in favor of the Caddy DTS with 20″ wheels on the tax payers’ dime, the sugar coated rainbows and cotton candy for began to clear and they saw that they voted in Deval / Obama because he was black and it gave them a warm fuzzy feeling to show they weren’t racist by doing so…well the hangover set in.

Alden Pyle on February 29, 2008 at 7:44 AM

WE will possibly have three Vietnam-era Presidents in a row.
Two served – McCain in the Navy, Bush in the Texas Air National Guard. Clinton draft-dodged.
Clinton ran away from every conflict he could not bomb from high altitude. Bush responded appropriately when he realized we really were having war made on us. But Bush failed to sell the war and the only logical thing to do in war: win.
McCain has suffered more than I bet any of here can imagine, from what happens when a nation becomes feckless while at war.
Hopefully McCain can properly lay out the stakes and motivate the only action that makes sense: Go on to victory and do not abandon our allies.
The childish rationalizations of Obama about this war are already plainly shallow and are rapidly becoming annoying.

hunter on February 29, 2008 at 7:46 AM

So Obama’s intent is to punish the people who made the decision to go into Iraq by pulling out early and creating total chaos. His only argument is “we shouldn’t have gone in there in the the first place”. How is that a rational argument?

ctmom on February 29, 2008 at 7:58 AM

Alden Pyle on February 29, 2008 at 7:44 AM

Ah, brings back the memory of David Dinkins as mayor here in NYC. But I could have pointed to Phili, Detroit, or any number of places destroyed by the guilt you describe. It seems now that the majority is made up of two types of voters– those too stupid and dependent to know better, and those just intelligent enough to feel liberalism’s allure and the guilt it promotes. It’s a crying shame, literally, but we do get what we deserve.

JiangxiDad on February 29, 2008 at 8:06 AM

Liberals don’t CARE what happens after we retreat. They simply will do it and then blame someone else for their screw up.

tx2654 on February 29, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Al-Qaeda exists there now [...]

AQI exists there now. Despite what we call them, and despite them adopting the AQ brand, they are still a separate group (and a recently-formed one, at that). While they’re certainly bad people and a regional threat, they aren’t the people who attacked us. That seems to be the implication in what McCain has been saying — that fighting terrorists and insurgents in Iraq has something to do with what happened on 9/11. That’s lazy fear mongering. Justify it on its own merits.

“We need to be prepared across the board for what a new president will bring,” Mullen said. “I do worry about a rapid withdrawal. . . [that would] turn around the gains we have achieved and struggled to achieve and turn them around overnight.”

This rather highlights how tenuous those gains really are. What good is progress if it completely collapses the day that the occupying army leaves? We’re five years in, and we haven’t made any lasting progress?

This points out the problem with Barack Obama and the rest of the Iraq war opponents: they insist on looking backwards at the decision to invade Iraq rather than the reality of what we face now.

It’s not as if McCain is admitting that going in was a mistake. McCain still thinks it was the right thing to do. More than that, he wants to keep going on this track (“there’s gonna be other wars”). Obama would be stupid not to keep pointing that out. And as noted above, the reality we face now is that we’ve made little lasting progress in five years. We’ve created chaos and given terrorists a cause célèbre. We’ve elevated Iran — a country whose animosity we’ve provoked and cultivated for decades — to the status of regional superpower. Our major reasons for going in have proven to be false (with much to suggest they were outright lies) — which means that our only possible reasons for staying must be circumstances that came about because of our invasion. We made this mess, and some warped international sense of duty compels us to try to clean it up, even though our own military leadership admits that we’ve made no lasting progress towards that goal in five deadly years. That might be acceptable if our reasons for going in were valid, and there were real, immediate national security interests at stake. But absent those we’re just on an indefinite, deadly and expensive masochistic adventure that doesn’t benefit us. Yeah, that’s selfish, but we’re not running a charity or a nation-building service here. America needs to look out for America.

Mark Jaquith on February 29, 2008 at 9:13 AM

There goes any chance that Angelina Jolie had of serving as secretary of defense in a Barack Hussein O’Jesus adminstration.

Akzed on February 29, 2008 at 9:44 AM

I will continue to say this no matter what the MSM tells me. McCain will not only beat Obama, he will win in a landslide and Obama will get destroyed in the debates.

noelgallagher2k on February 28, 2008 at 8:41 PM

Do you dream in color.

I see it quite differently.

I see debates where the media softballs the big O, and “sets up” the Repub. candidate.

I see J. McAarp making gaffs like he did 2x in one speech yesterday (using the word dispirited instead of spirited, and calling himself a liberal Repub)

I see the media putting HOT, unkind lights on J. McAarp, showing him pale and sweating,

I see J. McAArp being highlighted by the likes of JUAN HERNANDEZ, and thereby totally alienating (no pun intended) his base.

I see moderates and “progressive” Republicans swallowing the “HOPE” line and voting for the O.

I see the big O out fund-raising J. McAArp about 5 to 1,

I see the big O putting HRC on the ticket -drawing the women vote.

I see J. McAArp putting a liberal/”progressive” Republican (?) on the ticket and further pissing off his base.

But, that’s just me. I tend to dwell in reality.

And time will tell who is “right” (again, no pun intended).

stenwin77 on February 29, 2008 at 10:44 AM

I’m continually alarmed at how clueless Obama is. Someday soon the voting public will discover the Messiah has no clothes.

NNtrancer on February 28, 2008 at 8:43 PM

I just hope it’s before the election, not after a national tragedy.

stenwin77 on February 29, 2008 at 10:47 AM

There is no question that Barack Fitzgerald Obama is a featherweight non-thinker. But I have a feeling that he would keep our troops in Iraq just so he could claim the final victory. Yep, he’s that shallow.

Zorro on February 28, 2008 at 9:13 PM

Zorro, I believe his middle name is Milhous.

That’s an angle I hadn’t thought of, … possible.

stenwin77 on February 29, 2008 at 10:51 AM

I hope you are wrong. Some think that the average Democrat is inherently racist , so they wont vote for BHO.

TheSitRep on February 28, 2008 at 9:19 PM

He’s only HALF black, isn’t he?

stenwin77 on February 29, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Reagan had real vision, real solutions, real ideas. Tangible and realistic.

Barack Hussein Obama has only change and hope. Lofty plans and Hollywood realism.

Kini on February 28, 2008 at 9:25 PM

Reagan isn’t running.

McAArp represents a lot of what’s wrong with our country right now. He has been PART of the problem the past 8 years. While he might be right on the war, there are other issues at stake here.

That’s why I supported Mitt, he was outside of DC. Against BHO, it would have been a big +.

stenwin77 on February 29, 2008 at 10:56 AM

stenwin77 on February 29, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Yep, I know….

Kini on February 29, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Much too large a pecentage of the current American public members are ignorant fools. A good democracy needs an informed electorate, and the US is expanding it’s idiot segment of the population at breakneck speed.

We need to stop, look, and listen. The quality of our electorate is the key to our success, and the quality is and has been going down hill. Constantly doling out something for nothing to the unproductive in an increasingly costly nanny state expands that dependent segment of the population.

I’m afraid by the time we wake up on this the damage will be irrevokably done.

saiga on February 29, 2008 at 1:07 PM

ADM Mullen is a pimp.

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 4:13 PM