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Revolt On The Way?

On Chris Matthews' show this weekend, Cynthia Tucker suggested that the generals could be getting ready to riot:

Look for a revolt from active-duty generals if September rolls around and the president is sticking with the surge into '08. We've already heard from retired generals. But my Atlanta Journal-Constitution colleague Jay Bookman has lots of sources among currently serving military officers who don't want to fall by the wayside like the generals in Vietnam did, kept pushing a war that they knew was lost.

What, exactly, would a "revolt" entail? Already, the commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq has complained out loud that the local government is "nonfunctional" and that he doesn't have nearly enough troops. The Los Angeles Times suggested that Robert Gates might be letting military officers speak their mind in public. That's one possibility. The other is that many generals really are, as Andrew Sullivan put it, "close to insubordination at this point."

Back in 1994, Richard Kohn wrote a great piece for the National Interest on the military's near-mutiny against the Clinton administration. There hasn't been anything like that over the past six years, but Tucker seems to be hinting that it could be on the way.

--Bradford Plumer