Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Obama: Inexperience showing?

Or is he just being a sly boots for his lefty supporters, talking a good 'end the war' game but knowing full well, he will not really be able to.

From the Weekly Standard: Obama ignorance watch: What do the Joint Chiefs of Staff really do?

..." I want to devote a little attention to the second part, the mechanism whereby Obama will make that defeat a reality. In Obama’s telling, he will call in his Joint Chiefs of Staff and reset their priorities.

I know Obama is a student of military matters and intellectually voracious, so it is thus rather stunning that he would betray such ignorance regarding the way the military actually functions. In truth, the Joint Chiefs are not part of the chain of command. Indeed, they are specifically by statute not part of the chain of command but instead serve solely in an advisory capacity to the president.

Surely Obama knows this. Obviously he wouldn’t be seeking the role of Commander-in-Chief without knowing how the job is done. So what follows will be familiar to him, but may be enlightening to the media types who to date have overlooked yet another Obama misstatement.

In 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols act passed congress, and it reorganized the way the military functions. Its prime goal regarding the Joint Chiefs was to cut down on inter-service rivalries.

To give you the hyper-condensed Reader’s Digest version of things (which will still obviously put you several leagues ahead of presumptive-nominee Obama), the intent was that a guy like Norman Schwarzkopf could have command of a theatre without having to repeatedly go hat in hand to the different services. The Joint Chiefs would have a representative from each of the services that could advise the president of their individual service’s insights, but they were specifically cut out of the command loop so that the Schwarzkopf-type could run things efficiently.

So what is to become of our poor President Obama, barking out orders to his Joint Chiefs only to learn that they don’t carry out orders but just give advice? Will he claim he is powerless to end the war? Or will he eventually figure out that he has to get Odierno or Gates or Petraeus on the phone to make his wishes known?"


BTW - this is the same "dysfunctional" war powers act that former Secs of State Baker and Christopher are now lobbying to be changed.