The U.S. military is in the political spotlight, expect to see more retired officers speaking out during the 2020 election.

Donald Trump, Mark Milley at Inaugural parade 01-20

Michael Stricof dans « Made by History », publication du Washington Post.

The recent involvement of retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former defense secretary and retired Marine Corps general Jim Mattis in the debate about Trump’s handling of the protests highlights the key role the military has come to play in politics, campaigns and elections today — and likely will play as 2020 continues. But that obscures how new this role is. Retired military officers have regularly offered presidential endorsements over the last three decades, but the first in the wave of such endorsements didn’t come until 1988 when retired Marine Corps commandant P.X. Kelley came out in favor of George H.W. Bush. As mundane as it feels today, this practice reflects something quite dangerous — the increased politicization of the military and the reliance of civilian politicians on the armed services for credibility.

Michael Stricof discusses in The Washington Post the origins of current political endorsements by retired generals, especially the developments of the 1992 campaign when retired Admiral William Crowe endorsed Bill Clinton, and the consequences for elections now.

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