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Quote of the day: Churchill on why generals and politics don’t mix

“It is always dangerous for soldiers, sailors, or airmen to play at politics. They enter a sphere in which the values are quite different from those to which they have hitherto been accustomed.”

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“It is always dangerous for soldiers, sailors, or airmen to play at politics. They enter a sphere in which the values are quite different from those to which they have hitherto been accustomed.” — This is from The Gathering Storm.

I wonder if holding this view was one reason Churchill underestimated Eisenhower as a president, which I think he did.

Speaking of civil-military relations, here’s a good essay on the issue by James Jay Carafano. An interesting aspect of the whole discussion of the civ-mil relations is that the divide here is not ideological. Rather, I think, it is between people who understand how to make strategy and people who don’t.

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Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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