Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Interesting paper. I read it word for word.  However, it does not offer much more than opinion that the American officer corps is becoming more politicized and particularly Republican over Democrat.  It uses two former senior officers as examples of officers who in the author's opinion showed political preference while in uniform. Colin Powell has indicated he is a Republican and Maxwell Taylor served in uniform in the Democratic Kennedy administration after retiring following disagreements with Republican Eisenhower and being recalled to active duty by Kennedy (because Kennedy knew Taylor agreed with his strategic military vision.  The other examples of lower ranked officers seem to be concentrated during the Democratic Clinton administration.  Of course, Clinton was publicly criticised for evading the draft, protesting against the military during the Vietnam War.  He was probably the least liked/respected of any recent President by the military in general.

The other notable example given was the effect of the overwhelming overseas absentee vote for Bush in Florida.  However, no distinction was or could be made on the basis of officer vs. enlisted voters.  

All that said, my personal opinion, based on many years association with the American military (in one fashion or another) is somewhat supportive of the author's views in that: (1) as also pointed out in the article, the military tends to be more conservative (both officers and enlisted) than the average American Joe; (2) part of this can be laid at the feet of the "all volunteer force" that tends to draw and retain persons interested in long term stays in the military as opposed to draftees who were in and out as soon as possible; (3) the Iraq war is likely to have a profound effect on party favoritism within the military, perhaps not immediately, but eventually the war will lead to mistrust of the civilian leadership, as it did following Vietnam and could cause a more favorable view of the Democrats (and finally, as with myself an intense distrust of and unhappiness with both parties).

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 11:05:29 PM EST
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