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Generally speaking, military leaders should steer clear of politics

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Generally speaking, military leaders should steer clear of politics

Many critics of the president want retired general John Kelly and other retired generals to go full metal jacket on Trump. That’s a big ask for those raised in a culture to think not just about themselves but their successors.

General George Casey says politics and the military can be a volatile mixture.-/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/file 2006 Last year, General George Casey Jr., the former Army chief of staff, gave a lecture at Boston College Law School about how essential it is to a functioning democracy to keep a clear line of demarcation between military command and civilian control.

Casey, who grew up in Allston and was the commanding general of multinational forces in Iraq, is the son of a general and teaches civil-military relations at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

That day at BC, he talked about the importance of civilian leaders concentrating on matters of national strategy while leaving the tactics to military leaders. He stressed the importance of military leaders steering clear of politics, while stressing their parallel duty to question policies they believe are mistaken and to “tell unpleasant truths” to civilian leaders.

And he also said something that wouldn’t go over […]

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