US military chief seems to question wisdom of having elections, or he’s campaigning for McCain

It’s hard to read this in a good way. Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in yesterday’s Washington Post that the elections this year would make us vulnerable. It’s a very weird quote, and one that a military officer in a country that isn’t a banana republic probably shouldn’t be making.

The nation’s top military officer warned yesterday that the transition to a new American president will mark a “time of vulnerability” as the United States fights two wars, and he said military leaders are already actively preparing for the changing of the guard.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, said the U.S. political transition will be “extraordinarily challenging,” particularly as the military is engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan and faces interference in both countries from Iran.

Okay, first off, sounds a little bit like he’s questioning the fact that we’re having elections. This strikes me as inappropriate coming for the uniformed military, or anyone else for that matter. It also sounds like he’s cranking up the “scary” in order to help the Republicans win the elections. That’s just as inappropriate from a member of our military. Then he said the following:

Offering an unusual insight into how senior military leaders are anticipating the transition to a new president, Mullen said he is continually thinking about how military decisions taken today will play out under a new administration.

“There are very few either briefings or meetings that I’m in that I’m not thinking about ‘How does what we’re talking about right now transition to next spring?’ ” Mullen said. He said U.S. commanders in regions overseas, as well as chiefs of the different services, are having similar discussions.

The transition is unlikely to be smooth, predicted Mullen, who assumed his position seven months ago for a two-year term. He said he hopes to offer a stabilizing influence as a military leader who will bridge two administrations.

Gee, you think? You just told all of your men and women that our elections are a “vulnerability” and that the transition won’t be smooth – and now you think it might not go smoothly? Perhaps expressing a little confidence in our democracy might be a better lesson to give our troops. Totally inappropriate behavior from a military leader.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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