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Unformatted text preview: Palitits by Other Mamet; 118 had enlarged the base upon which even these modes: changes in' 1-. s ending were calculated. . . '. P When the Democrats returned to the White House in 1I993, I they attacked the military and national security sectors. PreSidenr . Clinton proposed substantial cuts in defense spending. Moreover, 3‘, Clinton and some congressional Democrats sharply critiCized tlfier .‘ ' t x. military for closing its eyes to the sexual abuse of womeIIn in I: I ranks and for prohibiting the recruitment and retention 0 gay an . lesbian personnel. Indeed, the congressional investigation of .the Tailhook affair ". and the entire conflict regarding homosexuals in the military may I__I be seen as efforts by Democrats to stigmatize and delegitimize an institution that had become an important Republican bastion. In -: October l993 Clinton’s navy secretary, John Dalton, Cited sexual I. harassment at the Tailhook Association convention both in dc:- -_I manding the resignation of the Chief of Naval Cperations (2:1 .) .I and in instituting disciplinary proceedings against a dozen 1111- i- rals and marine generals. This attempted decapitation of the navy's chain of command. (the secretary of defense ultimately refused to fire the CNOI)1 was . announced just one day after the Pentagon had indicated t at it .- would delay implementing the “don’t ask, don t Itell compromise .. the military that it had worked out I with the Clinton administration. The Pentagon attributed I:Ihis '. delay to the technical difficulty of informing base comman ebr: . about the new regulations. But the actions on both sides can . . seen as an escalation in the struggle between the Clinton adminis— .. tration and the military establishment. An earlierIepisode had been 2 the scathing public criticism of the commander in chief by task :1; . force major general, for which the general was only mildly re I concerning gays and lesbians in by his superiors and advised to take early retirement. Other incidents bespoke the hostility between the military and . the Clinton administration. For example, when General Colin J. Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, introduced former; Republican Defense Secretary Dick Cheney at a Pentagon function . The Republican Ofl'eruive I 19 in 1993, he saluted and called Cheney Boss. The entire room, filled with military officers, erupted into loud and sustained cheering at this suggestion that the wrong people were now in power. This was not an unusual incident: Republican officials tend to develop close relationships with military personnel as officers rise through the ranks. Republican defense secretaries typically recruit their assis- tants from the military rather than from civilian institutions (Colin Powell, for example, had served as assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger); they also rely heavily on the Pentagon’s joint staff (the uniformed staff of the Joint Chiefs) for policy planning. In contrast, Democratic secretaries of defense recruit their assistants mainly from congressional staffs and university faculties. These civilian officials regard the joint staff with suspicion. The military brass in turn is disdainful of a group it calls the faculty club. Just as the officials of domestic agencies, such as the Environ- mental Protection Agency, appealed to Democrats and liberal Re- publicans in Congress for support when they came under attack in the 1980s, so the military sought the support of congressional Re- publicans and conservative Democrats in its conflicts with the Clinton administration. Within the first months of the Clinton presidency, the military launched a countetattack against the “faculty club.” Acting on a complaint from career officers, the Pentagon’s inspector general charged that Assistant Secretary of Defense—designate Graham Al- lison had twice broken government ethics rules during the period that he served as a consultant to the secretary of defense while he was awaiting Senate confirmation of his permanent appointment. The inspector general’s report alleged that Allison, a former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, had arranged for his Harvard colleague Robert Blackwill to receive a Pentagon con- sulting contract. The report further charged that Allison had sub— sequently met with the Russian defense attache in Washington to encourage the Russian government to make a donation to Har- vard University that would guarantee the inclusion of Russians in a military exchange program organized by Blackwill. Career offi- ...
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