Retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, interviewed last week by host Aaron Maté at The Real News, explained the danger that is materializing from President Donald Trump significantly decreasing presidential control over the military’s war activities.
Responding to Maté’s comment that from Trump’s January inauguration through this month, “Trump has dropped more than 20,000 bombs, about 80% of what President Obama dropped in all of 2016,” Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell and now teaches at the College of William & Mary, advises that Trump removing presidential restraint and oversight over military actions overseas means more destruction will occur to advance purposes far removed from protecting Americans — to benefit armaments manufacturers and advance training, for example.
First, Aaron, we have to understand that Trump is not in control of this. Trump is not dropping these bombs. I appreciate your saying that in that way, and I realize it was metaphoric, but in a real sense, he is not. Not only is he not in those airplanes, he has given the war zones to the Pentagon. So what we’re seeing is the Pentagon taking ultimate advantage of this president’s not really caring about the details of what they’re doing.
Any time you turn the United States military loose — believe me, I was there for 31 years — and you tell them they’ve got carte blanche, they are gonna drop bombs until the cows come home. They know that their bread is buttered with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and other makers of these armaments, and they know that in order to keep a good, warm production base and a relationship with these defense contractors, that they gotta drop a lot of bombs and shoot a lot of bullets.
That’s what the military does. They’re training their pilots; they’re testing their aviation equipment, their AWACS control and so forth. They’re salivating over doing this, not to put too fine a point on it. So you let the Pentagon be in charge, and the Pentagon is gonna run, and run, and run, and that’s essentially what’s happening. I daresay that many of the bombs aren’t really dropping on feasible targets. They’re just dropping to be dropped or to train or whatever.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:
Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.