Donald Trump may have been the Pentagon’s preferred candidate in 2016 as the military is a historically right-leaning constituency, but that support has evaporated over the past few years.
According to New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper, Trump’s support among Pentagon officials and military members has turned upside down, particularly over the past several weeks.
“So [Pentagon officials] were happy at first,” Cooper said. “That’s really turned in the last couple of years, and in particular, the last year.”
She cited multiple decisions Trump has made lately, from the pardoning of three alleged war criminals to abandoning the Kurds in Syria.
“So [Pentagon officials] were happy at first. That’s really turned in the last couple of years, and in particular, in the last year,” @helenecooper said of Trump’s evaporating support from military leaders. #ctl #p2 pic.twitter.com/y0ySBOGvM7
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 3, 2019
You’ve got to remember first that when Trump came into office, the Pentagon was pretty happy about it. This is kind of a constituency that leans to the right anyway and is right in his wheel house. And he said he came into office the first year as president, loosening up a lot of the controls, the strict controls that President Obama had on generals out in the field. He also put more money into the military. So the Pentagon saw a lot of their budget — they saw their budget increase. So people were happy at first. That’s really turned in the last couple of years, and in particular, in the last year. There are two things that have happened in the last two months. Not just the Eddie Gallagher and the pardoning of those three people that he did a week and a half ago, which really has really alienated a lot of the senior leadership at the Pentagon, but in addition to that, President Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds in the fight against ISIS two months ago when he pulled American troops out from northern Syria really, really upset a lot of the same warriors that he’s talking up now, that he is protecting.
Trump has been an embarrassment as commander-in-chief
Trump ran for president as the candidate who would be strongest for the military and veterans, but he has been nothing short of an embarrassment in his role as commander-in-chief.
Whether it’s allowing hostile foreign powers to walk all over America, siding with Putin over the intelligence community, elevating war criminals or abandoning the Kurds in the fight against ISIS, this commander-in-chief has been an unmitigated disaster – and the Pentagon has noticed.
Donald Trump’s attempt to portray himself as a strong military leader has failed miserably over the past three years. Even the military sees him for the weak and embarrassing commander-in-chief that he is.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.