Trump Delegates Warmaking to Generals. “A Nuclear War could Start without Trump”

In-depth Report:

Articles in the Atlantic and Wall Street Journal discussed Trump’s approach to militarism and warmaking.

He’s letting hawkish generals make battlefield decisions overseen by Defense Secretary Mattis, National Security Advisor McMaster and Joint Chiefs chairman Dunford.

Last month, the Atlantic headlined “Trump and the Generals,” saying the president “is fixated on a more conspicuous form of winning.” Earlier he said “(w)e never win…(W)e don’t fight to win.”

Generals always want more funding. No matter the amount budgeted, it’s not enough. Trump proposed an additional $54 billion for the next fiscal year. 

Inadequate, according to Pentagon commanders, waging forever wars “against a multi-general ideological war of ideas that goes far beyond the military battlefield,” said the Atlantic.

They complain about Trump’s “unpredictability” even though he’s giving them free reign over battlefield decisions, including drone strikes and special operations missions in countries where America is not officially at war.

On April 14, the Wall Street Journal headlined “Trump Gives Generals More Freedom on ISIS Fight,” saying: The president “urges them to make more battlefield decisions on their own.” On Friday, an unnamed senior Defense Department official said

“(t)here is a sense among…commanders that they are able to do…more – and so they are.”

“They complained about Obama administration micromanagement. Now they’re acting more on their own.”

They’re “being encouraged to stretch the limits of their existing authorities when needed, but to think seriously about the consequences of their decisions.”

Trump administration militarism and warmaking are more “muscular,” diplomacy getting “short shrift.”

Last week, US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) commander General John Nicholson, Jr. allegedly used the Pentagon’s Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAD) on his own.

More likely, along with aggression on Syria, it was a Defense Department message to North Korea, Syria, Russia, China, and other US adversaries, indicating America’s willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve military and geopolitical objectives – not part of waging war on ISIS, a US creation it supports.

The Journal cited an unnamed senior administration official, saying Trump didn’t know about MOAB’s use until after it was dropped, adding:

Mattis “is telling them, ‘it’s not the same as it was. You don’t have to ask us before you drop a MOAB.’”

“Technically there’s no piece of paper that says you have to ask the president to drop a MOAB. But last year this time, the way (things were) meant, ‘I’m going to drop a MOAB, better let the White House know.’”

Pentagon and intelligence community power holds the Trump administration, Congress and the courts hostage. Diplomacy is inconsequential, for show only. Tillerson has no say over geopolitical policymaking.

. civilian cabinet members, and congressional leaders’ knowledge and involvement until they’re told.

With Pentagon commanders and intelligence community bosses in charge of warmaking and other key geopolitical issues, a potential nightmarish scenario could unfold.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.

Visit his blog site at

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]