April 24, 2006

Civillian Control of the Military

Former President, Gerald Ford, weighs in on Rumsfeld:

Ford, 92, said the decision on keeping Rumsfeld is the president's alone. "Allowing retired generals to dictate our country's policies and its leadership would be a dangerous precedent that would severely undermine our country's long tradition of civilian control of the military," Ford said.

"It would discourage civilian leaders at the (Defense) Department from having frank and candid exchanges with military officers. And, today, at a time of war, such an effort sends exactly the wrong message both to our troops deployed abroad and to our enemies who are watching for any signs of weakness or self-doubt."

Hat Tip: Blogs for Bush.

I am not a big fan of Ford, but he is right. It is good to get the opinions of these generals (who better to ask than those with first hand knowledge of the work of the Defense Secretary), however, basing the decision solely on their opinions would set a very bad precendent.

Moreover, it is nice to see a former President not actively attempting to undermine the sitting government (e.g, Carter, Clinton).
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