Let’s look at the Department of Defense……until 1949 was called the “War Department”…..
On this day in 1789, 07August, the War Department became an institution…
On this date, President George Washington signed into law a bill that established the U.S. War Department. The measure had moved through the First Federal Congress (1789–1791) with relatively little controversy. With Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., of Connecticut presiding over the Committee of the Whole, the House debated the authorization bill in late June 1789. Pro-Administration Representative Egbert Benson of New York introduced an amendment to include a phrase to the effect that the War Department Secretary would be “removable by the President,” echoing language that had been included in a much more rancorous debate a few days earlier about the duties and powers of the proposed Secretary of Foreign Affairs (later the Secretary of State). Roger Sherman of Connecticut and John Page of Virginia opposed Benson’s amendment, but it carried narrowly, 24 to 22. The entire bill passed the House easily on June 27, with little debate in an unrecorded vote. Soon thereafter, the Senate passed the bill. In choosing the department’s first secretary, President Washington preferred continuity. He nominated Henry Knox—a key aide during the American Revolution and, since 1785, the secretary of war under the Articles of Confederation.
In 1789 Congress created the War Department to administer the field army commanded by the president and secretary of war. After the War of 1812, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun reorganized the department and introduced a system of bureau chiefs with a commanding general in the field. The bureau chiefs advised the secretary of war and commanded their own troops and field installations. The secretary typically supported the bureaus in disputes with the commanding general. Congress regulated the bureaus in minute detail, and their bureau chiefs often relied on federal lawmakers for support. The Spanish-American War demonstrated a need for more effective control over the department and its bureaus, and the debate over how to do so reshaped the War Department during the twentieth century. In 1903 Secretary Elihu Root asserted department control by appointing a chief of staff and a general staff for planning. Yet, his successor, William Howard Taft, reversed this position, subordinated the chief of staff to the adjutant general, and reinvigorated the traditional secretary–bureau chief alliance. Under the National Security Act of 1947, as amended in 1949, the War Department became the Department of the Army within the Department of Defense, and the secretary of the army became an operating manager for the new secretary of defense.
All this history is just the intro into something that I completely agree with…..the DoD is no longer about defense but rather WAR….so why not return to the days of yore and rename the institution to reflect its true nature……War Department or the Department of War.
As a nation, we have failed to heed President Eisenhower’s prescient 1961 warning to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” Our failure to heed that warning—conversely the immense growth of the military-industrial complex—can, to a significant degree, be attributed to a simple change in nomenclature that was nothing short of Orwellian.
In 1949, the U.S. “War Department,” which had been established in 1789 and operated as such until 1947, was renamed the “Department of Defense”. The Secretary of War became the Secretary of Defense. As a result, no matter how offensive the nature our policies, objectives, military presence or weaponry, every dollar spent and every life lost in combat have been classified as necessary to the “defense” of this nation.
These conflicts are more about aggression than defense….so rename it the WAR Department.
“Lego Ergo Scribo”