Military brass clashing publicly with a president is rare in America

Politics 2020/6/5

Military brass clashing publicly with a president is rare in America

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense General Jim Mattis speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York

Military brass clashing publicly with a president is rare in America

U.S. President Trump delivers statement on protests over racial inequality at the White House in Washington

(Reuters) - President Donald Trump faced condemnation from respected former leaders of America´s armed forces this week over his approach to civil unrest in a rare series of clashes between a president, who serves as U.S. commander-in-chief, and such prominent military figures.

While policy differences are a normal outgrowth of civilian control of the military, criticism of the sort leveled this week has had few precedents in American history. Here is a look at some past disputes:

- In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln fired Major General George McClellan as his top commander during the American Civil War, a dire period in U.S. history. McClellan had privately derided Lincoln and even refused to meet with him. Lincoln ousted McClellan after the general repeatedly exhibited timidity as a commander and ignored the president´s entreaties to pursue and engage rebel forces. McClellan sought to oust Lincoln from office by running as the Democratic Party candidate against the Republican president in the 1864 election. Lincoln won convincingly.

- In 1951, President Harry Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur as commander of U.S. forces in the Korean War. The ouster followed tensions between a president who wanted to ensure that the war remained limited and a general who wanted to bomb China and consider nuclear weapons. MacArthur went public with their differences, which the president regarded as insubordination. In an address announcing the firing, Truman said that he acted to "prevent a third world war" and that MacArthur was "unable

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