The Independent Military

Tom Barnett flags what he calls the U.S. military’s growing “independence,” citing in this case Gen. David Petraeus’ penchant for shaping opinion (once again, the COIN emphasis on narrative):

What I find interesting: the trip to Afghanistan is arranged byPetraeus, meaning he generates his own public policy proponents fromoutside the government.

That tells you something about how independent our military hasbecome as a result of the Long War: they field their own when it comesto op-ed conflicts. . .

. . . [I]t really marks this era’s American military as beingdifferent from other militaries, as well as different from previousAmerican militaries — with perhaps the odd exception of MacArthur.

That certainly is an odd exception. What led to MacArthur’s dismissal, of course, was his opposition to Truman’s insistence on limiting the war in Korea, and Asia in general, and his willingness to publicly disagree with it. So far, Petraeus gets op-ed writers to do the disagreeing for him.

Very odd exception, indeed.