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Military Officials See Danger in Mixing With Presidential Politics

Image: Military Officials See Danger in Mixing With Presidential Politics

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr, chairman of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 01:29 PM

Former and current military officials say they are concerned about retired, high-ranking military officers having roles in the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to The Hill.

"The military is not a political prize. Politicians should take the advice of senior military leaders but keep them off the stage," retired Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote in The Washington Post.

"The American people should not wonder where their military leaders draw the line between military advice and political preference," Dempsey added.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a Trump adviser, and retired Marine Gen. John Allen, a Clinton supporter, were both given speaking roles at their parties' conventions. There , politics overshadowed any talk about military issues, the Military Times reports.

Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that high-ranking officers should stay out of politics.

"As generals, they have an obligation to uphold our apolitical traditions. They have just made the task of their successors—who continue to serve in uniform and are accountable for our security—more complicated," he said.

The current chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, agreed.

"The American people cannot be looking at us as a special-interest group or a partisan organization. I will exercise my right to vote, but no one knows the lever I pull," he said.

Duke University military historian Peter Feaver pointed out that the military being involved in U.S. politics is not a recent development. He told The Hill that Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was a general who was elected president.

Feaver said that Flynn and Allen have supported their candidates and "engaged in the most bitter of partisan exercises," including Flynn's leading a chant of "Lock her up!" directed at Hillary Clinton during the Republican convention.

The founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Paul Rieckhoff, said he believes members of the military should get involved, since fewer politicians today have military experience.

"Everybody's got a right to be involved in the political process, especially veterans," Rieckhoff said.

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Former and current military officials say they are concerned about retired, high-ranking military officers having roles in the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to The Hill.
military, politics, presidential, campaign, dunford, dempsey
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2016-29-03
Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 01:29 PM
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