Letters to the Editor

Don't blame military for civilian leaders' mistakes

Dulois Didier (letter Dec. 14) believes that military personnel need to "become more critical thinkers before politicians send them into battle" in "misguided wars."

As a former Air Force officer, I know that military leaders do think critically. I know that military leaders can and do advise those of higher rank, including the civilian leadership and ultimately, the commander in chief, the president.

Still, it's the duty of all military members to follow orders given by the civilian leadership, agree with them or not. In countries where the military overrules the civilian leadership, you end up with military dictatorships.

The only exception: Military members must object to and must not obey illegal orders, such as to torture prisoners.

Instead of blaming military leaders for "participating in misguided wars," maybe we should blame ourselves, the voters, for electing reckless civilian leaders. Too late for that? If our civilian leaders remain intransigent, we have two ugly options: Persuade our representatives to impeach our reckless leaders or wait until the next election. Like it or not, that's the way America works.

D.S. Zody