This short, Power Line Classic format episode features me in conversation this morning with Mackubin T. Owens, decorated Vietnam War vet, long time friend of Power Line, professor at the Naval War College, and author of numerous articles on books on civilian-military relations.
With all the controversy over General Mark Milley’s direct contacts with senior Chinese military leaders, his apparently extensive contacts with journalists, and the confusion or contradictions over what advice he and others gave to President Biden about our endgame in Afghanistan, I decided Mack was the ideal person to talk with about the whole scene.
Among his books that bear on this subject include US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil Military Bargain, and What Military Officers Need to Know about Civil-Military Relations (with co-author Christopher Robertson). Also not to be missed is his 2015 article in Strategic Studies Quarterly, “Military Officers: Political without Partisanship.” And above all, see his brand new article in Strategic Studies Quarterly, “Maximum Toxicity: Civil-Military Relations in the Trump Era.”
Mack doesn’t mince words in this conversation, giving direct and blunt answers about Gen. Milley’s performance, as well as commenting on the case of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, currently in the brig awaiting court-martial for his outspoken criticism of our Afghan debacle.
Exit music this week is the U.S. Marine Corps marching band performing the “Thomas Jefferson March,” which seems fitting for a Marine guest. Anyway, you know what to do: listen here, or do a forced march over to our hosts at Ricochet.