Has Trump Lost Control Of The Pentagon?

Tyler Durden's picture

Via The Saker,

The Pentagon’s more aggressive military approach

Here is a short timeline of the Pentagon taking the presidential commander-in-chief power from Trump.

The ultimatums came on March 1.

On March 1, 2017 the Atlantic’s article “Trump and the Generals”

announced that Trump’s military leaders “increasingly sound like they’re working for a different president altogether.

They complained about the lack of funding, even after Trump pledged to give them additional $54 billion that were cut from the budget of non-military agencies.  Right after the budget announcement, it became immediately obvious that the Pentagon considered this sum to be ridiculously small for their ambitions.

They also balked at Trump’s election promise to fire many “Obama’s generals.”

One of those generals openly voicing their opposition to Trump’s policies is General Tony Thomas of U.S. Special Operations Command. He reportedly said that “he wanted Americans to understand those elite counterterrorism operations are occurring nightly.” Meaning that they not just need more money, but more independence to operate.

As per the Atlantic, the “generals don’t much like to talk about “winning” against terrorism. They understand and tell the public and congress that the United States is in a 10-, 30-, 100- year battle against a multi-generational ideological war of ideas that goes far beyond the military battlefield.”

The article links to the Center for a New American Security’s publication: Virtual Caliphate – Defeating ISIL on the Physical Battlefield Is Not Enough.  

The same article in the Atlantic also went on listing some other problems that the Generals had with Trump.

“Over and over, Trump has heard his generals, then gone to the microphone or Twitter and ignored them—a pattern he began on the campaign trail. In September, Trump said he’d likely place new generals in charge of the ISIS war and that the ones in charge had been “embarrassing” under Obama, who he said had marginalized them.”

They complained about his “unpredictability” and even threaten that some of them will resign in protests.

"In the next few months, Trump will either order a way forward against ISIS that U.S. military leaders offer up (and likely is not much different from the war underway), or he’ll order some radical departure from what he’s offered this week, which may require that some generals resign their commissions.”

Either he’ll slash money from the State Department and pull back America’s diplomatic and development presence abroad—including money related to counter-terrorism—or he’ll expand it to help end this fight and prevent further conflict, as so many generals have suggested.”

Either he’ll tone down the anti-Muslim rhetoric, like McMaster wants, or he’ll keep it up.”

“Either he’ll proclaim to the world the importance of a free and adversarial press to democracy, exemplified nowhere better than in America, or he won’t.”

“Americans can pick their own metric, but one place to watch is Eastern Europe. In the last year, former President Barack Obama and NATO moved thousands of American troops to Russia’s border, with more tanks, aircraft, ships, and missiles. If Trump really wants to make nice with Putin, he could pull all of that back, or cut the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”

 “What “the generals” say matters, and what Trump says about them and their advice is confusing.”

If that sounded like an ultimatum, it was, because it was accompanied with an open threat of disobedience delivered via the Daily Beast.

On the same day, March 1, the Daily Beast published an article written by Kimberly Dozier, Generals May Launch New ISIS Raids Without Trump’s OK.

This article was published with updates and comments from Central Command, with the following statements:

“The White House is considering delegating more authority to the Pentagon”


President Donald Trump has signaled that he wants his defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, to have a freer hand to launch time-sensitive missions quickly, ending what U.S. officials say could be a long approval process under President Barack Obama that critics claimed stalled some missions by hours or days.”

As you have noticed the link to 2016 material titled “CALL OF DUTY: The Secret Movement to Draft General James Mattis for President"

Gen. James Mattis doesn’t necessarily want to be president—but that’s not stopping a group of billionaire donors from hatching a plan to get him there.”

It’s reminded us that Jim Mattis was endorsed by some ” anonymous group of conservative billionaires” to run in the presidential race “to confront Donald Trump.”

“Mattis, who is also nicknamed the “warrior monk” for his contemplative devotion to the military arts, would be a fallback option for anti-Trump forces.”

Now, this anti-Trump force man has taken an unelected position of the secretary of Defense. Let’s keep this very important detail in mind.

The article says that the Pentagon may start launching operations without the Presidential approval in “areas outside of the declared war zones.”

“In declared war zones, U.S. commanders have the authority to make such calls, but outside such war zones, ….  it can take permissions all the way up to the Oval Office to launch a drone strike or a special-operations team.”

“Despite the controversy, Trump has signaled that he wants to operate more like the CEO he was in the private sector in such matters, and delegate even more power to Mattis, which may mean rewriting one of President Barack Obama’s classified Presidential Policy Directives on potentially lethal operations in countries where the U.S. is not officially involved in combat.”

“Trump officials believe loosening the permissions process can help turn up the heat against ISIS—and counterterrorist-focused agencies like the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are lining up new targets in anticipation of more numerous and more rapid approvals.”

 The new model of command is “pre-delegating authority to Mattis, that authority could be pushed much further down the chain of command—all the way down to the three-star general who runs JSOC.” The result will be “the elite force will be able to move into action, informing the national-security apparatus of the operation but not having to wait for permission.

Cutting through this heavy bureaucratic American doublespeak, the White House will be informed, but would have no commanding authority over the US military.

News in Brief

March 14th, the US National Nuclear Security Administration field tested the modernized B61-12  gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada.

April 7, Liberty Passion, loaded with US military vehicles, moored at Aqaba Main Port, Jordan

On April 7th the Pentagon US bombed Syria’s main command center in fight against terrorists

April 10, United States Deploying Forces At Syrian-Jordanian Border

April 11, The US Air Force might start forcing pilots to stay in the service against their will, according to the chief of the military unit’s Air Mobility Command.

April 12, President Donald Trump has signed the US approval for Montenegro to join NATO

April 13, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance’s increased deployment in Eastern Europe

On April 13th, the Pentagon bombed Afghanistan. The US military has bombed Afghanistan with its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)

April 13, the US-led coalition bombed the IS munitions and chemical weapons depot in Deir ez-Zor killing hundreds of people

April 14, The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) has been deployed to the South China Sea

April 14, the US sent F-35 jets to Europe

April 14, Washington failed to attend the latest international conference hosted by Moscow, where 11 nations discussed ways of bringing peace to Afghanistan. The US branded it a “unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region.”

April14, the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively

On April 16th, the US army makes largest deployment of troops to Somalia since the 90s.

On Saturday April 15, FoxNews posted an article titled, Trump gives generals more freedom to make decisions in ISIS fight, Trump reiterates confidence in US troops after MOAB strike.

It’s important to realize that this Trump’s decision to give more freedom to the US generals to decide where to start a war, or as it’s been dubbed “the New Approach” had come after the fact that was “on display this week in Afghanistan, where Gen. John Nicholson, head of the U.S.-led coalition there, decided to use one of the military’s biggest nonnuclear bombs—a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB.”

After the MOAB was dropped, repeating without the presidential approval, the Media came out heralding this bombing of Afghanistan as “America’s top military commanders are implementing the vision articulated by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: U.S. military commanders to make more battlefield decisions on their own.”

A senior administration official said Mr. Trump didn’t know about the weapon’s use until it had been dropped.”


“Mr. Mattis “is telling them, ‘It’s not the same as it was, you don’t have to ask us before you drop a MOAB,’” the senior defense official said. “Technically there’s no piece of paper that says you have to ask the president to drop a MOAB. But last year this time, the way [things were] meant, ‘I’m going to drop a MOAB, better let the White House know.’”


“There’s nothing formal, but it is beginning to take shape,” a senior U.S. defense official said Friday. “There is a sense among these commanders that they are able to do a bit more—and so they are.”


“While military commanders complained about White House micromanagement under former President Barack Obama, they are now being told they have more freedom to make decisions without consulting Mr. Trump. Military commanders around the world are being encouraged to stretch the limits of their existing authorities when needed, but to think seriously about the consequences of their decisions.”


“The more muscular military approach is expanding…”


“Mr. Mattis has sketched out such a global plan, but the administration has yet to agree on it. While the political debate continues, the military is being encouraged to take more aggressive steps … around the world.”

In conclusion:

While the situation is taking its shape, I encourage you to research and to think over the following questions.

This incoming information sounds like a proof of what I have been suspecting all along that the US military has been run by the groups of non-governmental private organizations. My suspicions were confirmed by Rosa Brooks‘ book “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything.”

It also helped when in February of this year the Washington Post posted her opinion about an ongoing military coup. “A former Defense Department official under the Obama administration has raised the specter of a military coup to remove President Donald Trump from power.

“In an editorial penned for Foreign Policy, senior Pentagon policy official Rosa Brooks publicly suggested a military insurrection against the Trump administration may be the only option to oust one of the most divisive presidents in American history.”

If memory serves me right, in 2011 was a distinct threat issued by Steve Pieczenik on YouTube to Obama and his administration that the military and intelligence stopped considering the presidential power to be legitimate and went on  making themselves to be the real government.

This tells me that no matter who takes the presidency, the US armed forces and the intelligence community refuse to recognize the country’s civilian government.

What does this actually mean for the rest of us?

It means that any negotiations and agreements with the US president and the Secretary of State  are useless. That would explain the complete lack on interest of Putin to talk to any of them. The Kremlin didn’t even release a statement about Putin’s meeting with Tillerson, and there are rumors that it was nothing, but an exchange of strong language on both sides.

So, the US military takes hostage an entire planet by positioning themselves near China, NK and Russia in the Far East, and near Russia in Europe and threatening to start a nuclear conflict with many nuclear countries at once, if they don’t get something.

What do they actually want, and from whom? Do they blackmail Russia and China? Do they also blackmail the EU? Or, do they blackmail someone in the US? Are they looking for money? Are they looking for gold? Do they want the official dejure recognition of the military government?  Or, are they demanding the write off the US debt?

How are they going to get away with this?

Two days ago the Wall Street Journal made an announcement that the Pentagon was granted the “freedom of initiative.”

This announcement was noticed in Russia.

If the US armed forces went rogue and the wsj just announced this, would it be the legal reason for the UN members to neutralize their bases around the world?

Who are now in control of  NATO?

Are they keeping Trump hostage and not allowing him to leave the territory of the US?

What about “neuchtenka” like the PMCs, the Special Forces, (GRS)/OGA, SADs, and others?

Does this mean that the US has no civilian government, and that’s why they are going to shut the government down at the end of April?

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PrivetHedge's picture

More downvoters in denial, but facts are facts and 59 cruise missiles have spoken.

SoDamnMad's picture

I sure hope we don't have boatloads of the same model as those 59.  A lot of villagers will have one of these scratched and dented models in their front yards.

beemasters's picture

I guess that explains everything. I have been wondering from the start why Trump has never mentioned Soros. Trump never bites the hand that feeds him. He's one corrupt SOB. Now, that also explains why he's not after the Clintons! They know each other's dirty laundry.

Jubal Early's picture

The reason the term "deep state" doesn't reflect out current government is because it is too amorphous.  In reality there must be a real NSC (probably a sub-committe of the CFR) that simply issues its orders to the generals.  Otherwise civil war would have broken out long ago.  Instead we see perfectly orchestrated MSM memes that sycronize with wars, economic crisis, technological development, new movies, and terrorist events.  The way the entire world media all pick up the narrative within minutes of an event and then circle the wagons to protect it is proof that there is a real shadow government, not just a deep state.

Putrid's picture
Putrid (not verified) Apr 17, 2017 2:54 AM

The question makes no sense. There's no one in control. The System will continue until it kills everyone. Extinction is the System Result


PrivetHedge's picture

3 downvoters = 3 people in denial or having false hope.

Much as I'd like to disagree with Putrid's post I have to concede that it's happenning. Now.

new game's picture

DENIAL>ANGER>ACCEPTANCE ok, fine., understood.

now can the anger be put to good use? lol- a sacrafice to the cause.

run to your imprisonment or even death. yup. 

police state, yup.


too late?


Thom Paine's picture

I think you may be right, the system like a AI compture program that just runs to do what it was programmed to do, and developed its own defense to being changed. It will seek resources that enable for it do more, such as Trump type creature.

The only way the Pentagon/Intelligence/Deep State are going to get harmed if one day there is massive blow-back on something they did. i.e. NK actually trashes Seoul and a Japanesse city.   Then it will be holy fucking shit - somebody has to pay - and Congress will want to sacrifice many, and take the chance to rip the system up, if they can.

Putrid's picture
Putrid (not verified) Thom Paine Apr 17, 2017 4:21 AM

Of course it has a self defense mechanism, the System was designed to serve the Dominant Class. The individual who depends upon the System for his sustenance will defend it instinctively.

Now this instinct acts at the Group Level, so a herd mentality forms and the individual's thinking will is discarded. So there's no thinking at the Systemic level by those benefiting from the System; this group Instinct forms belief and social peer pressure that serves to prolong the System.

I'm very sorry guys, but the elite aren't geniuses, they lack the imagination to conceive the System in its Totality so they lack awareness of imminent collapse and then extinction.

I wonder about God these days.


mo mule's picture

The Planet has been dealt a death blow. In 2011 Fukushima began sending killing levels of radiation around the world. The Pacific Ocean is almost  completely dead now. In a few years all the oceans will be dead. The radiation is spreading across the world's land masses by way of the trade winds. 

None of what we say here matters. Fukushima as killed the planet.  Your living a dream and soon everyone will be dead and never wake up......

joeyman9's picture

Hey, I'm still here and so are you.  People south of the equator will escape the worst consequences because of the way wind and current patterns flow.

mkkby's picture

Yet Tokyo just a few miles away is just fine.  Your thinking skills are a mix of imbecile, meth overdose and hit too many times by heavy weight boxers.


old naughty's picture

you may have a (very beautiful?) point there.

What does this actually mean for the rest of us?

 not a fxxking thingy, coz in the longer run, we're all dead, no?

and you think all these (very long) time, our "sin" had no-thing-y to do with it?

"harvest" cometh, coz "the one" exploits it.


Putrid's picture
Putrid (not verified) old naughty Apr 17, 2017 3:58 AM

There was a tech CEO that read volume 1 of The Philosophy of Capitalism and he wrote me a note saying "You forgot the first rule of economics, in the long run we're all dead anyway."

Ha ha ha... wrong kiddo, keep reading... volume 1 is only about the psychological framework of Capitalism, by the second and third volume it's quite clear that extinction is NOW a near term possibility.


Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Trump is obama in orange face.  He attacked a soverign country after a FALSE FLAG.


Sorry ass nigger.

East Indian's picture

He attacked a soverign country after a FALSE FLAG.


And without your Congress declaring war on Syria. 

NuYawkFrankie's picture

The Pentagon is nothing more than the Rogue Globo-Thug Enforcer of the USSA Shakedown operation on behalf of "The Usual Suspects"

And the 'Mullet-In-Chief' has now TREASONOUSLY abrogated war-making control to dumb mutha-fckin morons like McMaster & Mattis leading the charge into oblivion as directed by ISISraels's 5th Column of NeoCON Operatives

And in case you're wondering what happened to the last shred of 'Congressionial Oversight': While the world teeters on the brink, the USSA Knesset will - conveniently - be away for a few weeks on its Passover Recesss

TheReplacement's picture

I cannot reasonably dispute most of what you say, only this. In time of war it has been demonstrated that overbearing politicians tend to cost lives and lose wars - military decisions are best made by those on the ground. For this, I do not think Trump giving the military more independence on such decision making is treasonous at all.

On the contrary, having our military in the field and in the fight in the first place, that is possibly a crime for which politicians should charged.

Thoresen's picture

Downvoters joined around 22-24 weeks ago?
Don't understand sarcasm?
Multiple accounts?

beijing expat's picture

Well on the one hand, WW2 was started by over enthusiastic officers of the Kwangtung army, and on the other, the Atlantic is a NeoCon rag whose reporting is entirely ideaological and thus skirts the realm of discernible reality.

San Pedro's picture

The world has and always will be ruled by the aggressive use of power..any student of history knows this. But then again history is not longer taught in today's grievance mongering bathroom confused   America.

PrivetHedge's picture

It's always odd to see the US, a country with no natural enemies and it's own resources - somehow ending up as the biggest military in the world by several times and with a total of about 17 secret agencies.

It's beyond the tail wagging the dog, we have failed to recognise which part was the tail and what that psychotic mini-nuke weilding dog is doing to our planet.

AlbertthePudding's picture

Kay Griggs does a very interesting analysis of the Generals she knew and had personal experience of through her assassin colonel of a husband who came complete with a handler and boyfriends. They seemed like total sleazebags to me and were fully compromised, each with a control file as long as their left legs.

I would expect it has only gotten worse since the 1980's with the "cherry marines" on top of the pile of excrement and the "rising stars" totally owned while the assassins now coming from hundreds of 'no future' nations. It is sad and demoralising to see the human race fall so far. So anything you say about Western generals to me I take with a grain of salt and their demands for money would be vaguely akin to an addicts demand for drugs and sex however degenerate. the lies would know no bounds. For Trump to fall for this crap is sad.

And if you think that's bad, My belief is that NATO is in a whole nuther league again..just don't go there - slavery, childnapping, and the rest of the most degenerate things you can imagine. And these are the people the free world entrusts with their future. What a joke! The Russians know all of this; so do the Chinese.

Fundies's picture

Seems the Pro Trump down voters are getting a semi chub on.

Thom Paine's picture

The Military Industrial Complex and their paid for Generals think Trump is the best thing that happened to them.

An outsider they can lead around like fool, use and then dump.

They have realised they can use Trump to push further and harder than they ever did before because he is an outsider. They can rape the shit out of him, then toss him like a used condom, and the GOP wont care. They will be very happy to kill the Outsider concept in the process.

Trump will in the end be set up and impeached by the MIC and Congress in time for Pence to take over.

galant's picture

Unlike the rest of the world, the United States with the support of fascists in Great Britain and Israel continues to invade and destroy other countries.

As Trump has amply demonstrated in the past month, US weapons are still primarily for aggressive war to expand its empire, NOT for defence.

The picture Trump drew during his campaign of the USA military becoming a stay-at-home porcupine that no-one would dare mess with was fake.

He has now clearly aligned himself with the global neo-conservatives and the multinational companies they control.

It is no surprise that other countries desperately want nuclear weapons.

How else to ensure that they are not invaded, plundered and destroyed by the United States?

AlbertthePudding's picture

Is the USA experiencing the "Orange Revolution" at home?

napper's picture

Revolution? Hell, no!


Orange Devolution!


Say hi to the Orange Devolution Chief Donald orange Trump.

napper's picture

Lost control of the Pentagon? LOL. Trump has never had control of the Pentagon!


Right now it looks like the Pentagon has full control of Donald Trump.

turkey george palmer's picture

Doesn't matter. The problems are not going to  be solved by any little generals. There might not be civilian control of government  but there is criminal control of government and the generals don't get that yet

Grandad Grumps's picture

Time to start firing generals and de-funding everything covert ... until it comes out of the shadows, I think. We will most likely find that we have a hostile intelligence running both military and policy.

The president has not had any control and even no access to anything really secret since Eisenhower. The possible exception is H.W. Bush who was born and bred on evil covert stuff.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Trump = Warrior Monktard

messystateofaffairs's picture

Every proper banana republic should be run by its military. Go mad dog go. This case is fascinating, a global reach banana republic run by a small psychopathic nation, financed by a declining global fiat reserve currency, executed by a mad dog operating under the auspices of the (((psychopaths))) with the ficticious supervision of an orange clown. What could possibly go wrong?

Fake Trump's picture

Pentagon vs Trump. He will soon having a huge problem. James Mattis appears to be too ambitious to run against Trump next election. Trump will soon fire him under the order of President Kushner. President Kushner too has a secret agenda too.

Sudden Debt's picture

Americans don't really notice the problems in their streets yet, but that will become obvious in the comming years...


blindfaith's picture


It is summertime....always in the summertime.  Everything happens in seconds now....years nope.

peterk's picture

The only thing to restore LAW now, is a REVOLUTION  in the USA.

Dont think i cant happen, most of the population is already poor, and once the higer interest rates set it

it will be worse. Once budget cuts set in to STATE law enforcement,  even more so.


When i hear TRUMP say " everyone knows what happen" in repsonse to a reporters querry about whether or not he authorised the MOAB bombing,  i knew there he lost control of th e military, He side stepped the answer.

Why didnt trumo  just say a few weeks ago" im being threatened by the military they are taking over" and order a midnight roundup and arrest of all the generals, he would have been written up as a  HERO. Now by  going along

with the MIC, he has no credibilty what so ever. What a FOOL.

Lets face it, TRUMP wasnt mentally  or emotionally strong enough to stand up to them,  he has no principles.


Xena fobe's picture

Agreed.  Moderates on both sides will get together.

smacker's picture

It was said on ZH numerous times that under Obola there were four US foreign policies:

1. White House

2. State dept

3. CIA

4. Pantygon

We all witnessed the chaos and confusion caused by that with the CIA and State calling the shots in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere, stirring up revolutions all over the world because both are heavily under the influence of Neocon psychopaths and warmongering megalomaniacs hell bent on global domination at any cost in US$, American lives and domestic security.

What we appear to see now under Trump is that White House foreign policy only exists on Twitter and changes weekly if not daily because Trump hasn't got a clue what he's doing. It is therefore being ignored or trashed by the other organs who are now flexing their muscles some more, hence the MOAB was dropped w/o Trump's knowledge or approval.

But can Trump himself be trusted to formulate a coherent foreign policy? NO. He cannot play the role of a corporate CEO when he is the POTUS with huge decisions to take which affect the future of the world. He's made it far worse by appopinting the wrong people in the WH to advise him and by not draining the swamp as he promised to do.

He will live to regret it. America will live to regret it. The world will live to regret it.  This cannot end well. WWIII or a major clash is on the horizon.

Wahooo's picture

The world will not live to regret the destruction of the U.S.

smacker's picture

That's a worst-case scenario. There are usually survivors!!

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

But, but, but... we need a businessman to be the POTUS, right? Surely a smart businessman will save us all and put 'Murica on the right track. /s

smacker's picture

I'm all in favour of people with business experience going into politics providing it's for the right reasons. (A side benefit of that would be to exclude most people on the Left of politics). Such people usually know how to eliminate excessive bureaucracy and make things happen better. But if that person simply wants to morph government into a branch of big money (aka the Corporatist State) then I do not support it one jot. But that is what's happened in America (and the UK) over the last generation or two. There should always be a wall between government and big money. Moral hazards should not exist.

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

Then you should be all in favor of decentralization. It doesn't matter who you put in power in the district of corruption. They always get compromised/extorted and wind up screwing the rest of the country.. Running a country isn't a whole lot different than running a business. The smaller you keep it, the easier it is to manage.

smacker's picture

Yes I do support decentralization. This is how it happens in properly run companies and other organisations.

The skill is that each layer of management or part of government retains what are often called "powers reserved", meaning that certain major decisions can only be taken by the next level up. In government, this is important due to the huge consequences of certain decisions, eg declaring war etc.

But in general, I support decentralization and delegation as far down as practically possible.

Xena fobe's picture

That was not the reason people voted for Trump.  People voted for Trump because he seemed honest and because the allternative was much worse. 

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

Are you insane? All of my friends voted for Chump despite me telling them all of his flaws. You do realize there were other choices besides Chump and Slick Hilly right? 

joeyman9's picture

Of course that would only work for a country that focuses on it's own affairs and keeps its nose out of everybody elses business.  A country with a very small military, a hard (private) currency (why should govt get to issue money?), and a focus on its own domestic concerns, with most of the wealth and power left at the local (City, County and State levels).  One where the fedgov becomes a ceremonial actor but where the real power resides at the local level; the way it was supposed to be before the original American Revolution was completely destroyed in 1865. 

shutterbug's picture

Trump is replaced with a doll looking like him, on a puppet string handled by his Neo-con puppeteers ...

THAT ALONE is enough reason to impeach the Trump doll, because dolls aren't president material.

Trump went faster Neo-con then Obama did.... And Obama was extremely BAD. Trump is now worse then Obomber?!!