The court-martial of Donald J. Trump

Trump approaches and appraises the military as he does all else: What’s in it for me? He needlessly sent troops to our southern border in the fall of 2018 because it advanced a narrative, which he contrived to help the Republican Party in the midterms, that America was being threatened by an invasion of migrants.

“My military,” he has said, and it’s no slip of the tongue. He sees the military as a vessel for his own glorification, to which end he openly yearned for a military parade in Washington, a titanic tribute to all the metal and munitions under his control…

For Trump the military is a commercial enterprise and commodity. His complaints about N.A.T.O. boil down to balance sheets, focusing on the financial disparity between the United States’s military contribution and other countries’, as if our servicemen and servicewomen are service providers.

They rightly see themselves as more than that — and as more than the brutes of Trump’s childish imagination.