Trump Calling Armed Forces ‘My Military’ Sparks Criticism

President Trump greets sailors after entering the hangar bay aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford in Newport News, Virginia, on March 2. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell/U.S. Navy)
President Trump greets sailors after entering the hangar bay aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford in Newport News, Virginia, on March 2. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell/U.S. Navy)

“My military,” President Donald Trump’s choice of words used to explain authorization of a massive bomb in an assault on Islamic State group positions in Afghanistan, raised the eyebrows of some, including a former U.S. secretary of defense and a retired Air Force colonel.

At a press briefing on Thursday, Trump praised the military’s actions.

“We are so proud of our military,” Trump said. “And it was another successful event.”

But then a reporter asked Trump if he authorized the strike, which incorporated the first battlefield use of the military’s Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon.

“Everybody knows exactly what happened,” he responded. “What I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world, and they’ve done the job, as usual. We have given them total authorization, and that’s what they’re doing.

“Frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately. If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what has happened over the last eight years, you’ll see there is a tremendous difference.”

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the defense system belongs to the country.

“When it comes to the military, the military belongs to the country,” Panetta said. “Our defense system belongs to the country. And it’s not the president’s military, it’s the military of the United States of America.

“He has responsibility obviously, as commander in chief, to be able to make decisions with regards to our military,” Panetta continued. “But I think if you ask the men and women in uniform who they are responsible to, I think their answer would be, ‘We’re responsible to the United States of America.’”

In response to Trump’s statement, Retired Air Force Col. Morris D. Davis tweeted:

Davis was also a former Guantanamo chief prosecutor who tried to establish a policy prohibiting the use of evidence obtained through torture. He resigned in 2007 when Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes became his direct supervisor, saying, “The guy who said waterboarding is A-OK I was not going to take orders from. I quit.”

Davis retired from active duty in 2008 after 25 years of service.

Some Twitter users also opposed Trump’s comment:

Meanwhile, others defended Trump’s comment in response to reports:

ADVERTISEMENT

%d bloggers like this: