Monday, September 28, 2009

think tanks advise our military?

talking points memo carried an article on neocon fred kagan advising general mcchrystal on afghanistan policy. what opened my eyes what not the specifics about this political hack advising our military leaders, but the general fact that lots of think tanks are busy advising them! how is this accepted and normal? what does this trend do to the view of the military as 'non-political' or even above politics? i think this is very dangerous, since our democracy rests partly on the notion of a military outside of politics. is it already the elephant in the room, leaking to the media in order to get what it wants politically, an escalation in afghanistan? (which it got successfully in vietnam decades ago). quoting TPM:

We followed up by asking if it was accurate to describe the Kagans as "McChrystal advisers" -- as the AP and NPR have in recent days (AP mentions both Kagans, NPR only Fred). Sholtis responded:

"If you're just going to say they're advisers in some kind of neutral way, then yes. If by saying they're advisers you're going to imply that we're in some kind of neocon thrall, then no. Like I said, he takes advice from all sides."

It's been observed that no one who advised McChrystal on the review "thinks the war effort is adequately resourced." This list of the dozen advisers gives a sense of how "all sides" is defined. Besides AEI, other organizations represented include: the RAND Corporation, Brookings, the Center for Strategic & International Studies, and the Center for a New American Security.

in other words, ALL the groups advising the general are pushing for more troops. the military-industrial complex has a well-developed lobbying arm, apparently, apart from legislators.

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