Donald Trump wants it absolutely clear that the military is his military. Military officers may take an oath to defend the Constitution, not any individual. But then, Trump took that oath himself and he certainly doesn’t consider it binding. He doesn’t trust anyone who does. Just as he’s done with every other department of the government, Trump has ordered up the broom to sweep the Pentagon clear of “disloyal” officers.
It’s not that the military hasn’t gone along with every Trump request, from taking out a target with a missile full of knives to pointlessly expending dozens of missiles at an empty airfield to dragging cadets back to West Point in the middle of a pandemic to witness Trump’s epic ramp-shuffling skills, the military has been there for him. And they’ve stayed ever so quiet while Trump insulted POWs, Gold Star families, and soldiers injured in an unnecessary conflict.
But after launching his White House with an armload of generals, Trump has fired them all, along with several of their replacements. It’s become clear to him that career military officers just won’t do to run the military. So, as Politico reports, a “loyalty purge” is underway at the Pentagon to stamp out any last trace of respect for the constitution, honoring the rule of law, and keeping the military even nominally apolitical.
Unsurprisingly, the first heads to hit the floor are two high-ranking women. Both the top official overseeing international security, Kathryn Wheelbarger, and acting comptroller Elaine McCusker are out.