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BARR: Milley And Biden Together Have Crossed A Dangerous Constitutional Line

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Recently disclosed actions by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley highlight a serious fraying of the civilian-military structure at the very core of our constitutional republic and also reveal a deep public misunderstanding of that relationship. Combined, these factors pose a danger the likes of which the country has not witnessed in modern times, if ever.

Our Constitution on this point is crystal clear. There is one commander-in-chief, and that person is the President of the United States. The decision to place the elected civilian leader of our country at the apex of the country’s armed forces was purposeful as a means of protecting the citizenry and the states from an overly-powerful national army that could undermine the constitutional order the Framers had so carefully constructed. Without this safeguard, the Constitution likely would not have been ratified in 1788.

Notwithstanding this constitutional clarity on military matters, inter-service rivalries and bureaucratic shenanigans have cropped up throughout our history. In modern times, these practical problems led Congress to pass two major reorganizations of the military command structure.

The first of these was the National Security Act of 1947,........

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