Imagine that these are difficult days to be a professional soldier serving in the armed forces of the United States. As a long-ago soldier myself, I hope they are.
That is, for the sake of our republic and for the military professional ethic, I hope that members of the officer corps are deeply troubled by the apparent willingness of the Trump administration and Trump’s acolytes in Congress to insert US military regulars into situations where they don’t belong.
President Trump has put our troops in a terrible bind. Their highest obligation is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet they are also sworn to obey the orders of their commander in chief. Trump appears intent on forcing our men and women in uniform to choose one or the other: Do as I say, or honor the Constitution. This is both deeply unfair and profoundly dangerous.
More disturbing still, neither the defense secretary nor chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appears to grasp the predicament in which the troops are being placed. Or, if they understand it, they have chosen to become complicit in the problem. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, the JCS chairman, show every sign of indulging President Trump’s apparent enthusiasm for employing regulars to impose order in American cities, even if that means, in effect, waging war against American citizens.
Read the full article here in The Nation.