Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The Pentagon’s Counterinsurgency Campaign in the Senate

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The way I see it, the Pentagon is averse to any actions that threaten the military’s rape culture. Cosmetic changes, new slogans, and all that: fine. But changes that may actually change the culture: No. Elspeth Reeve in the Atlantic Wire:

The Pentagon is conducting an aggressive counterinsurgency campaign in the Senate, having already pacified its allies on the Armed Services Committee. It’s trying to prevent more senators from getting on board with a bill sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that would overhaul how the military deals with sexual assault by having an independent prosecutor, instead of the military commander, decide whom to court martial in sexual assault cases. This is how it works in the radical feminist organizations known as the militaries of Israel, Germany, and the U.K. The Pentagon wants this movement stopped.

Pentagon inspector general report this week found that more than 10 percent of criminal investigations in sexual assault cases are flawed. That follows the survey this spring that found about 26,000 military members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. More than half the victims were men. Even so, the military does not want major changes to its criminal justice system. To stop demand for an overhaul, the Pentagon is trying to win the hearts and minds of senators with a massive lobbying campaign, Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn and Anna Palmerexplains in a fascinating report on the Pentagon’s lobbying machine. The counterinsurgency campaign has already succeeded in winning over the Armed Services Committee. Committee chair Carl Levin shot down Gillibrand’s bill, instead favoring one the military supports. How? First, the Pentagon had plenty of soldiers already in place: . . .

Continue reading.

Her concluding paragraph is worth reading:

While the Pentagon has worked very hard behind the scenes to stop Gilibrand’s bill, it does not appear to have worked very hard on articulating the case against it. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote, “Conveyance of a message that commanders cannot be trusted will only serve to undermine good order and discipline.” But when Israel, the U.K., and Germany took these reforms, their militaries did not fall apart. In a Senate hearing in June, Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt argued against Gillibrand’s bill, saying senators should “allow a commander to command by allowing them to enforce the standards they set.” But the whole problem is, commanders haven’t been able to enforce those standards, even though they’ve had more than 20 years to do so since the Tailhook scandal.

Written by Leisureguy

17 July 2013 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Congress, Law, Military

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