I am deeply concerned by the president’s efforts to politicize the military. The president can pardon convicted servicemen and direct their assignments. That such intervention is rare underscores its danger.

Overriding the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Navy’s personnel policies will have serious detrimental impacts within the military as it challenges the chain of command at every level. This is not valid oversight attention (as exercised regularly by Congress), but the president acting for political reasons without listening to the concerns of the military — as evidenced by the firing of the secretary of the Navy.

If the larger lesson here is that politicizing an issue gives servicemen leverage regardless of merit, good order and discipline, which are critical to the military, are threatened.

The worst impacts may be overseas, since this case makes ready print for those who will say the U.S. military is rogue and conducts itself like either a bad college fraternity or, worse, some sort of extra-judicial organization. The court martial conviction of Chief Eddie Gallagher seems focused on that issue — we cannot tolerate inhumanity beyond the fog of war. The administrative action would have determined, among other things, whether Gallagher’s presence as a SEAL would invite violence off the battlefield.

If others expect that American servicemen are not answerable to the law, it would not be a stretch to expect that this case will increase the green-on-blue violence already present in South Asia.

The president has made the military more vulnerable by his actions.

Joseph Glass, Sumner

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