Trump is letting the generals make war without supervision, setting a dangerous precedent.

By Jason C. Ditz
May 5, 2017
The American Conservative

Late in April, President Trump signed a classified memo delegating U.S. ground troop levels in all theaters of the war against ISIS to the secretary of defense. This decision received very little fanfare, and to the extent it was reported on at all, few chose to note it for what it was—part of an ongoing trend within the Trump government to delegate authority down the chain of command.

On a fundamental level, such delegations aren’t surprising. U.S. presidents have, after all, seen the scope of their power grow markedly, administration after administration adding new little bits that they present as vital to the office. There’s just too much for one person to do anymore, which is why the executive branch has grown to massive levels.

Amid this growing domestic power, the United States has also spent the last century building the most powerful, most heavily-funded military on the planet. Wartime control over the U.S. military is a prerogative established for the president too, and that hasn’t changed.

At least in theory. The military of the early republic was small, and doing anything with it was comparatively rare. In 2017, the U.S. military is not just huge, it’s active to an unprecedented level. America is fighting multiple wars and other military actions around the planet, and the expectation is always that there will be some kind of intervention abroad. U.S. military action is, at this stage, a permanent feature of American life.

Read more