By JOHN KANELIS
Donald Trump’s ignorance of military matters is well-known, thoroughly chronicled and has become the talk of the planet.
But then the commander in chief said today that rank-and-file enlisted men and women love him, but that the generals and admirals at the top of the chain of command well … think a lot less of him.
“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me,” Trump said. “But the soldiers are.
“The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t, because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy, but we’re getting out of the endless wars, you know how we’re doing.”
That was his response to a question today at a press conference about statements attributed to him in The Atlantic article, the one in which he reportedly called injured service personnel “losers” and “suckers.”
Trump’s astonishing, jaw-dropping ignorance drew a sharp rebuke from retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a Vietnam War combat veteran who led troops into battle during the Persian Gulf War.
McCaffrey noted that the individuals at the general grade officer level themselves came up through the ranks. Many of them saw combat as junior-grade officers; they suffered injury; they suffer from PTSD. Those individuals, Gen. McCaffrey noted correctly, are adamantly opposed to going to war.
And for the commander in chief to suggest they are in bed with weapons makers is as disgraceful a statement that McCaffrey said he has ever heard come from a commander in chief.
It’s instructive, too, that Trump would say such a thing in the wake of the blowback from The Atlantic article that attributes astounding comments from Trump about those who have sacrificed so much in defense of the nation.
To my eyes and ears, what Trump said today about the general-grade officers, alleging greed is pushing them into continuing to fight “endless wars” only validates the reporting that The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has provided.
The commander in chief’s ignorance about military matters, as Gen. McCaffrey has noted, makes him a menace to our national security.