It is hard to know if you are walking on thin ice. The ice is opaque, and the first indication that you are in trouble is when you hear the musical cracking under your feet. This can be the case with many things, including civilian control of the military. It is very hard to know when you are in good shape and when you are in danger until after the overt actions of a coup have been attempted.
This is why it is so critical that we have complete civilian control of our military. The danger that a large and incredibly well equipped military can present should never be forgotten or underestimated. This is why it is likely that today is going to be the very last day of military service for Gen. Stanly McCrhystal. His words and actions have gone beyond the pale on more than one occasion. He was strongly reprimanded for his inappropriate statements on Afghanistan policy before the president decided to increase troops there, and now the quotes in the new Rolling Stone article showing his and his command teams disdain for the civilian leadership mean it is time for him to go.
"Originally posted at Squarestate.net"
All of this has me thinking about the novel and movie 7 Days In May. If you have not seen this movie (with Burt Lancaster and Kurt Douglas no less!) then do yourself a favor and rent it. The plot revolves around a charismatic and hard-nosed general who plots a military coup after the President announces a treaty with the Soviets to destroy all nuclear missiles.
Lancaster’s character is convinced that he knows better than the president and “for the good of the nation” intends to remove him. Without giving away too much the plot is discovered by his aid and is brought to the attention of the president. This movie has one of the best closing speeches and final scenes of any I have ever seen it is really worth your while.