A transfer of power is taking place in Washington, as President Trump is reportedly taking warfighting authorities from the White House and transferring them to the Pentagon, The Hill reported.
The strategy is meant to empower the military tactically, allowing them to adequately fight ISIS and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups. Many current and former military officials agree with the plan.
According to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, President Trump has entrusted the Pentagon and military leaders to make tactical decisions, placing the “warfighters” in charge of war. Still, Bannon says Trump continues to make strategic decisions.
“The President believes the best thing to do is to let the warfighters fight the war,” Bannon reportedly told CNN. He says the president “hasn’t given up any of the strategic decisions,” and that he oversees “anything important on the warfighting side.”
Both Republican and Democratic administrations have retained oversight in the past. According to reports, the Trump administration believes that policies, like those implemented by the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, negatively affect military campaigns by hobbling the commanders, who need to make tactical decisions.
Kori Schake, former National Security Council director for defense strategy under George W. Bush’s administration, supports Trump’s strategy. She also warns that delegating troop management to the Pentagon is tricky.
“It’s really important for the President to take responsibility for outcome and have a conversation with the American people that prepares people for both what we’re trying to do and the sacrifices that will be required to do it,” Schake said. “And the risk that runs is that the public — when the casualties start mounting (is not) prepared for the deeper political commitment.”
In May, Secretary of Defense James Mattis applauded the changes. “No longer will we have slowed decision cycles because Washington, DC, has to authorize tactical movements on the ground,” Mattis said. “I have absolute confidence as does the President, our commander in chief, in the commanders on the ground as he’s proven by delegating this authority to me with the authority to further delegate it and they’ve carried it out aggressively.”
Within the military community, the sentiment is pervasive.
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