Former U.S. Pentagon leaders warn of dangerous era: NYT

(Xinhua) 09:00, September 08, 2022

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The challenge to a peaceful transfer of power after President Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 election has worsened "an extremely adverse environment" for the U.S. military, according to an open letter signed by several top generals and former defense secretaries and published on Tuesday.

"The letter does not mention Mr. Trump by name. But in 16 points on the principles that are supposed to define civil-military relations, the signatories issued a thinly veiled indictment of Mr. Trump and the legions of his followers who called on the military to support his false claim that the election was stolen from him," reported The New York Times (NYT).

"Military officers swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not an oath of fealty to an individual or to an office," the bipartisan group wrote, adding later, "It is the responsibility of senior military and civilian leaders to ensure that any order they receive from the president is legal."

Two former defense secretaries who served under Trump, Jim Mattis and Mark T. Esper, were among those who signed the letter, which was published on War on the Rocks, an online platform for analysis of national security and foreign affairs issues.

"The letter reads like an American high school civics lesson. But in the six years since Mr. Trump entered the White House, the theme of the military's duty to obey only legal orders has come up frequently," noted NYT. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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