"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.
"We will be tested. . . . I’m preparing that this country will be tested, and I have a role in that regard, certainly providing advice to whoever the new president’s going to be," he said. He said his current priority is to develop military strategies for the Middle East and the globe to "tee up" for a new president.
Specifically, Mullen said he hopes that the change in politically appointed leaders will unfold at a wartime pace, rather than at a "peacetime" one. "I think it’s important for us to get as many principals in positions as rapidly as possible in a time of war," he said. " Tyson
Perhaps Tyson is trying to stimulate discomfort with the idea of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff talking about getting "as many principals in positions as rapidly as possible." If that is so, then she has succeeded with me. Mullen is talking about politically appointed civilians in that last sentence, civilians nominated by the president for confirmation by the senate of the United States.
What business is that of his?
We have come a long way in the development of civil-military relations in the US since the time in which George Marshall gave up his promised position as commander of the European Theater of war merely because FDR suggested that he could not cope with the Washington scene in Marshall’s absence. A small sacrifice? He would have been Eisenhower in the "Crusade in Europe" with all that would have flowed from that.
You have to wonder how much Admiral Mullen’s fretting is caused by the prospect of a Democratic Administration. Perhaps the new president should consider the suitability of present leadership in the Pentagon. pl