We Don't Task By Email

There is some misunderstanding of General Dunford's answers to questions about the transgender policy change. What he said was:
I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the president. There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance.
What that means is that a Twitter announcement is not a formal military order, and so no military units will be taking action until a formal order has been issued.

Once in Iraq the Divison's commanding general had a Kuwaiti CULAD -- 'cultural advisor' -- who wanted to mandate that everyone from Brigade come up to be personally instructed by him in how to deal with Iraqi local leaders. Brigade was not buying it, as they already dealt with those leaders every day and had for months. So they just ignored the instructions to report, until finally the CULAD got the G-7 to call down to the Brigade XO and demand to know why they hadn't reported as instructed.

"I'm sorry," the XO said. "We must have missed that order. What FRAGO was it in?"

Er, um, that is, well... we just sent emails about it.

"You're going to have to put that in an order," the XO replied sweetly.

They never did, and so the "mandatory" cultural classes never happened. That was because they never had gotten the commanding general on board with the idea of pulling one of his subordinate units off the battlefield for touchy-feely training on something they were already doing every day. I expect there will be an order here, since the Commander in Chief has stated openly what he intends the policy to be.

Until then, though, this isn't a refusal to obey orders. It's just an acknowledgement that formal orders will be necessary in order to carry this out.

UPDATE: Apparently this is the day for confusion about whether and how the military follows orders.
Responding to a question on whether he would initiate a nuclear strike against China at President Donald Trump's orders “next week,” the admiral bluntly said: “The answer would be: Yes.”

Swift, who has led the Pacific Fleet since 2015, explained: “Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us.”

He then struck a conciliatory tone, saying: “This is core to the American democracy and any time you have a military that is moving away from a focus and an allegiance to civilian control, then we really have a significant problem.”


Cass said...

Good Lord. That Gateway Pundit blog post may be the single dumbest thing I've read in a very long time.


One wonders what their response would have been to DoD instantly implementing some tweet of Obama's? CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS !!!!!11!!! ZOMG!!!!

Grim said...

I would argue that the other story -- News Flash! Military Says It Will Obey Orders! -- was even dumber, except that it comes from RT. So it's knowing propaganda, rather than stupidity.