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Truman: a lesson for Pakistanis

Published Nov 13, 2012 12:03am


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THIS refers to my letter ‘Gen Powell: a lesson for Pakistanis’ (Nov 8). I was reminded of how a hero of the World War II and probably the most successful and popular general in US history was relieved of his command by Truman because of his differences with the American president over the conduct of the Korean war.

Civilian control over the military was an American tradition dating back to the founding of the republic. In his 1956 memoirs, Truman wrote:

“If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military.

Policies are to be made by the elected political officials, not by generals or admirals. Yet time and again Gen MacArthur had shown that he was unwilling to accept the policies of the administration.

By his repeated public statements he was not only confusing our allies as to the true course of our policies but, in fact, was also setting his policy against the president’s...

If I allowed him to defy the civil authorities in this manner, I myself would be violating my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.”

This should be an eye-opener for all of us.



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Comments (6) Closed

Naeem Malik Nov 13, 2012 12:20pm
So why is Truman so ineffective in Islamabad?
Saeed Nov 13, 2012 01:14pm
The General did not end up with plots of land, and houses in DHA and other benefits.
Zishi Nov 13, 2012 01:28pm
I completely agree. Army should be under civil control but for that our politicians need to prove that they are sincere to the country and not just to their own greed.
Agha Ata (USA) Nov 13, 2012 06:18pm
Yes, the brain should rule the brawn. And, by the same token, some women can rule men (A feminist)
karim Nov 13, 2012 02:43pm
Pakistanis are not capable of learning anything.
Aizaz Moin Nov 13, 2012 02:23pm
YES I completely agree. I believe that the military is but a tool of deterrence in the hands of the President, who is the actual Commander in Chief, even in our constitution.