Last night on Fox News, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) joined in on the right wing’s trumped-up hysteria over the U.S. military’s new global strategic guidance President Obama announced yesterday. West claimed that the president “probably” didn’t consult the military to formulate the new strategy:
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that the president — I assume, maybe I’m wrong, but were military leaders not part of the new plan or strategy going forward? Are you hearing from people at the Pentagon, former colleagues they were ignored in the discussion on which direction to take the military?
WEST: I can tell you that is probably the case. I have heard some rumination to that effect. And also when the president stands up and says this is the guidance I gave. The guidance he gave was not oriented towards how we have a strategy to contend with threats across the world. It was more so based on a budget analysis.
This claim is not true. During the announcement yesterday, Obama thanked “the service secretaries and chiefs, the combatant commanders and so many defense leaders — military and civilian, active, Guard and Reserve — for their contributions” to the new strategic guidance. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that DOD’s “senior military and civilian leadership” provided recommendations. And Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer, said the same:
DEMPSEY: This strategy also benefited from an exceptional amount of attention by our senior military and civilian leadership. On multiple occasions, we held all-day and multi-day discussions with service chiefs and combatant commanders. The service chiefs, who are charged with developing the force for the strategy, were heard early and often. The combatant commanders, charged with executing the strategy, all weighed in time and time again. And we were all afforded extraordinary access to both the president and the secretary of defense.
And not only did military leaders contribute to the new strategy, but as Dempsey noted, there’s “real buy-in” from the top brass.