I know President Trump has said that he is giving the military a freer hand rather than micro managing its actions in our ongoing conflicts but according to reports Tuesday it would seem either he did not know what the Navy was really doing or he and his administration spokespeople just lied.
More than a week ago the president claimed he was dispatching an armada of ships to the waters off North Korea in reaction to that wayward nation’s missile tests and continued nuclear arms development.
Working off the official word, news outlets reported it like this excerpt out of a USA Today story of April 9:
………………The aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships had been scheduled to leave from Singapore for port visits to Australia on Saturday, but Adm. Harry Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Command, ordered the strike group to head north toward Korean waters instead. ……………
But now we are being told there was some kind of confusion between the ships’ officers and the Pentagon and the administration and the press and therefore the American people (and the world) were misled. Instead the naval task force headed the other way, toward Australia after all, and only now is it headed toward North Korea.
If the ships really are headed there now I am not sure what difference it all makes but it makes one wonder how much control Trump has (and the president, a civilian, is at the top of the chain of command over the military by our constitution).
Now I realize it might not be a good tactical idea to broadcast the position of our ships but I think the American people have a right to know what is being done in our name and while I would generally applaud the idea of a president not micro managing the military as presidents have done since LBJ, I would like to think the president knows where our warships are going.
And if Trump just made that all up on the spur of the moment to put a scare into Kim Jong-Un — the totally savage and totally nutty leader of North Korea who is constantly threatening to send nuclear-tipped missiles our way — and risk war when really were not doing anything, we really have a problem. This is too serious. I mean even if North Korea’s last missile failed shortly after launching, going kerplop in the ocean, that nation has a tremendous conventional forces and might draw in China and Russia on its side.
Yeah, so maybe this having our ships go the wrong direction was a diversionary tactic and it was a good idea not to give the exact position — loose lips sink ships. But loose lips can cause war when the president makes am impromptu announcement he’s dispatching war ships to a country.
And if he dispatched the fleet in the name of a crisis of the moment that overrode congressional consideration then why did it apparently take a detour?
Now we know we cannot trust anything Trump says in this post-truth era and we know there is a problem of deliberate false reporting, and now we must suffer incorrect news coming out of our government either by design or incompetence.
Trump was lauded by many for his decisive action in the Syria bombing but now we find that it amounted to a tremendous waste of ordnance, at least I think, despite launching billions of dollars worth of Tomahawk missiles the airfield target was not rendered useless.
And then there was the mother of all bombs (short of nuclear bombs) dropped in Afghanistan this past week but are we supposed to believe it was worth it and civilian lives lost justified?
By all accounts the big bomb was a big success military wise, killing scores of the enemy — but then again the American people have been lied to before about how effective our military operations are.
And finally, congress needs to step up to the plate and reassert its constitutional authority on declaring war and presidents need to quit dispatching ships and drones and troops hither and yon like some geo-political board game.