WASHINGTON: "The highest-ranking U.S. military officer has written an unusual open letter to all those in uniform, warning them to stay out of politics as the United States approaches a presidential election in which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be a central, and certainly divisive, issue.
"The U.S. military must remain apolitical at all times," wrote Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "It is and must always be a neutral instrument of the state, no matter which party holds sway."
"As the nation prepares to elect a new president," Mullen wrote, "we would all do well to remember the promises we made: to obey civilian authority, to support and defend the Constitution and to do our duty at all times."
"Keeping our politics private is a good first step," he added. "The only things we should be wearing on our sleeves are our military insignia."
Mullen said he was inspired to write the essay after receiving a constant stream of legitimate, if troubling, questions while visiting U.S. military personnel around the world, including, "What if a Democrat wins?" and, "What will that do to the mission in Iraq?"
"I am not suggesting that military professionals abandon all personal opinions about modern social or political issues," Mullen wrote. "What I am suggesting - indeed, what the nation expects - is that military personnel will, in the execution of the mission assigned to them, put aside their partisan leanings. Political opinions have no place in cockpit or camp or conference room."
He noted that "part of the deal we made when we joined up was to willingly subordinate our individual interests to the greater good of protecting vital national interests."
Mullen took his message directly to the U.S. Navy's newest officers on Friday, when he spoke to the Naval Academy's graduating class. Military personnel are obligated to give their unvarnished, even critical, advice to their civilian leaders, he told the class.
"If it's followed, great," Mullen said. "If it's not, we only have two choices: obey the orders we have been given, carrying them out with the professionalism and loyalty they deserve, or vote with our feet."
"That's it," he added. "We don't get to debate those orders after the fact. We don't get to say, 'Well, it's not how I would have done it,' or, 'If they had only listened to me.' Too late at that point - and too cowardly."
Translation: If there are enough fools in this nation to elect Obama or Clinton then lets all retire.Obama thinks he can talk the world into peace and all Hillary needs is a button to push in order to nuke the Iranians.