"Dangerous": Martin Dempsey condemns idea of using military amid unrest

There were a couple of things that came on rather quickly. One of them was the description of the challenge with these protests of dominating the battle space. That’s a characteristic that we use for conflict in external wars. And I thought, that’s not something the American people should think about in terms of when they see members of the military on their streets.

And secondly, the idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests — admittedly, where some had opportunistically turned them violent — and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me.

By the way, I should mention, there’s no question that the law would allow the use of military in extremis, in an extreme situation, when state governments were either unable to even convene or that when state and local law enforcement were overwhelmed. But none of that seemed to be the case, and so the idea that the president would take charge of the situation using the military was troubling to me.