December 24, 2018

LAUGHINGSTOCK:

Marines Deployed Abroad Seek Answers Amid Washington's Turmoil  (Ben Kesling, Dec. 23, 2018, WSJ)

BOST AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--On a holiday visit to American troops overseas, Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, was asked by a Marine about President Trump's orders to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

What, the Marine wanted to know, did the orders mean for those on combat deployments?

"That's a really good question," the commandant said. "And the honest answer is I have no idea."

At every stop on his tour, Gen. Neller has faced questions about what the recent drawdown orders and the resignation of Defense SecretaryJim Mattis mean for Marines and for the broader U.S. military strategy in the Middle East.

The questions have come from Marines bundled in parkas while training in Norway as well as those sweating in the heat of Afghanistan, who are eager to know how the turmoil in Washington affects them.

"Are your families asking if you're leaving?" he questioned a group of Marines in Helmand province. Many nodded yes.

"You're not leaving," he deadpanned, to laughs from troops midway through a months-long deployment.

In normal times, the utter disregard of subordinates for the Commander-in-Chief would be scandalous, rather than healthy.

Posted by at December 24, 2018 5:52 PM

  

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