Small Wars Journal

Pentagon Tells White House to Keep Politics Away From the Military

Pentagon Tells White House to Keep Politics Away From the Military by Alex Horton – Washington Post

Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan had a message for the White House: Politics and the military don’t mix.

Shanahan and Navy officials have faced intense scrutiny over a White House request to hide the USS John S. McCain warship during President Trump’s visit to Japan last month — a moment, among others, some defense officials and analysts have said is a sign of decay in the civilian-military relationship, which has been traditionally divorced from partisan rancor.

Amid the backlash, Shanahan directed his chief of staff to tell the White House not to put the military in political situations, Shanahan’s spokesman, Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino, told The Washington Post.

The Navy confirmed Saturday it received a request from the White House to “minimize the visibility” of the ship.

But 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer squashed any potential effort to “put the ship out of sight” a day or two before Trump’s visit over Memorial Day weekend, a senior Navy official told The Post on Sunday, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter…

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