Why retired generals like the new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin rarely lead the Pentagon
The retired General Lloyd Austin has been confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of Defense. AP Photo/Susan Walsh (Susan Walsh) In all respects, General Lloyd Austin, who has just been confirmed by the Senate to lead the US Department of Defense, is very qualified to serve as Secretary of Defense . Austin (Austin) is a four-star general and has won a lot of victories in his 40-year career. He has served the country for nearly half a century, showing bravery and courage. Ironically, Austin̵
7;s long military career has set a sticking point for his confirmation process. The law requires servicemen to wear uniforms for at least seven years before assuming the civilian role of the Secretary of Defense. Austin left the army four years ago, and technically speaking, he is not qualified to hold the position. Congress waived the waiting period before confirming him. This is only two operations since 1947, the most recent being in 2017. Austin’s choice has historical significance. He is the first African-American to lead the country’s military establishment, and this is a step in expanding the Pentagon’s leadership positions to be predominantly white men. However, the fact that Austin’s rich military experience casts a shadow over his prospects raises the question of why it was delayed for seven years in the first place. The retired General Lloyd Austin will serve as Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense. U.S. Central Command, through Wikimedia Commons, the official legal delay in civilian control of the military began at the end of World War II, but the concept behind it can be traced back to the origins of the United States and is the core of the U.S. military tradition. The founder has personally experienced the empire’s use of the standing army, and therefore regards the huge army as a sign of authoritarianism and an inherent threat to democracy. They believe that the general’s influence on how to use the army must always be subordinated to those officials directly responsible to the people. The first Secretary of War of the United States was Henry Knox, who was a bookseller and later a military commander of the revolution. Gilbert Stuart wrote in 1768 via Wikimedia Commons Samuel Adams: “Even if it is necessary to use military power, in a piece of land, wise and prudent people always do it. Stay vigilant and jealous.” In 1776, the Virginia Declaration of Rights asserted: “Under all circumstances, the army should strictly obey and be governed by civil rights.” This document became the inspiration for the Declaration of Independence and later became the inspiration for the Declaration of Independence. Model of the Bill of Rights. When talking about the Constitution, the founders specifically stipulated civilians’ control over the military by giving the president the role of commander-in-chief and at the same time giving Congress the power to formulate military rules and budgets. After World War II, Congress worried that the American public would be increasingly fascinated by charismatic generals such as Douglas MacArthur. They believed that brave combat captains should be given greater autonomy. As MacArthur saw, civilians who knew nothing about war should not check the privileges of proven fighters. Congress disagreed and established a waiting period to limit the qualifications of professional officers to manage the newly formed Department of Defense. The 10-year service interval (later shortened to 7 years) will make the general’s “star” decline to an acceptable level, thereby reducing its impact on the public. Chuck Hagel is Barack Obama’s Secretary of Defense. From 2013 to 2015, he was a veteran, but not a professional soldier. US Army/Department of Defense Monica King (Monica King) through Wikimedia Commons Many Secretary of Defense are veterans, but not professional soldiers, such as Chuck Hagel (Chuck Hagel), he was in 1967 and 1968 He was a soldier in the Vietnam War and Barack Obama from 2013 to 2015 in the decades before he led the Pentagon as president. Others are academics, politicians, and business leaders, such as James Forrestal, who was appointed as the first Secretary of Defense in 1947 and worked on Wall Street before joining the government. Their leadership skills and experience have been developed at least within the military as well as within. “A professional society independent of civil society” As a major in the Army National Guard, I am familiar with the mentality of professional officers. In the nearly 20 years as a military lawyer, I have never heard of a senior official telling his or her superiors that he or she cannot complete the task. In the minds of a colonel or general, it is practically impossible to have a well-trained army of soldiers, shrewd tactics, and sufficient funds and equipment. This capable attitude is part of the mentality of professional officials, but so is the tolerance for disagreement. The basic premise of military management is unified command and single authority. Senior officials usually have little patience to disagree or build consensus. The diversity of ideas is not praised; contrarian views are not welcome. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] As the Supreme Court pointed out, “The military must be a specialized society separate from civilian society.” It is an institution that “developed its own laws and traditions in a long history”. Ultimately, “the law is obedience to the law.” . Austin received the third exemption. George Marshall was the first American five-star general in the 20th century and later served as Secretary of Defense-but only for a year. General George Marshall, who retired from the U.S. Department of Defense through Wikimedia Commons, received the first exemption from the waiting period in 1950. Marshall made a frank observation during the nomination process: “As the second lieutenant, I think we will never have a place in the army unless the soldier is the secretary of war. When I grew up and experienced some of our military history… …I came to a fixed conclusion that he should never be a soldier.” Marshall was considered to have the unique qualifications to supervise the US military in the Korean War, and it was finally confirmed that his term would be limited to one year. Congress stated at the time that “it shall not approve additional military personnel to the office.” The retired General James Mattis was the second professional officer and was exempted from the waiting period between his uniform service and his becoming the Secretary of Defense. The U.S. Department of Defense, through Wikimedia Commons, approved the second exemption for General James Mattis, who retired in 2017, and it took nearly 70 years. His confirmation faced early resistance from Senators, especially Democrats, because Mattis had left the Marine Corps only four years earlier. Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed of the Senate Armed Services Committee was unwilling to vote to confirm Mattis. He warned that “the repeal of the law should be another generation.” Austin is now exempt. The third recipient. He resigned himself to claim that he had a civilian mentality, but the basic principles of the waiting period are still as important as ever. The Supreme Court once observed: “The military is not a deliberative body.” Granting professional members of this body the power to decide how to use American blood and treasure should be the exception, not the rule. This is an updated version of the article originally published on December 17, 2020. The article was republished from The Conversation, a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing the ideas of academic experts. Its author: University of Southern California, Dwight Sterling. Read more: Biden has the opportunity to revive the US tradition of adding ethics to foreign policy. Can Joe Biden win the transition? Trump’s purge of defense agencies coincides with a fragile period of US national security. Dr. Dwight Sterling is a JAG officer of the California National Guard. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of any organization.