Sunday, April 23, 2006

Please Tell Me We're Kidding

Here's a result from last week's Opinion Dynamic poll that I didn't see reported (note: link is to a pdf).

"Question #8: Who do you think should have the final say on U.S. military matters--civilian leaders or military personnel?"

Just 20% of those polled said civilian leaders, while 54% said military personnel. "Depends," "both," "neither" and "don't know" garnered 5%, 14%, 3% and 4%, respectively.

OK, maybe I just blissfully missed the coverage of this little gem, but it certainly wasn't pointed out in this Fox News story, posted by the cable network that commissioned the survey.

By the way, the results aren't prettier if you break them out by Democrats, Republicans or Independents. In a bit of true irony when taken in a broader context than the current disaffection with Rumsfeld et al, the Democrats polled actually went slightly more strongly for military personnel being in control than did the Republicans polled (60% versus 58%). Only 17% of the former went with civilian leaders, as opposed to 22% of the latter.

Sigh. What are we thinking? Do we not understand the wider implications here?

Civilian control of the military is a bedrock of ...

Oh, never mind. Go back to sleep.

(Good catch.)

Added: And to think, there I was last week, suggesting that perhaps we should be discussing different theories of civilian control of the military. Boy, am I disconnected.