Masters explicitly called for a wholesale firing of the generals at least seven times between August 2021 and March 2022. By Cameron Joseph September 15, 2022
Blake Masters, the Republican nominee for Senate in Arizona, has repeatedly said the U.S. should clean house on the senior ranks of the military, pushing the claim that all the generals and admirals are “woke” and “left-wing” losers who’ve never won a war.
His solution? Fire them all, and promote “the most conservative colonels.”
“Your entire general class, they’re left-wing politicians at this point. It’s very hard to become a general without being some kind of left-of-center politician,” he said at an Apache Junction Ladies for President Trump event in August 2021, according to audio obtained by VICE News. “I would love to see all the generals get fired. You take the most conservative colonels, you promote them to general. Not because the ideology is important, but because the conservative colonels will be able to leave the ideology aside. They just care about an effective fighting force.”
This is far from an isolated comment. Masters… has repeatedly suggested that only conservatives can be trusted to set aside ideology and maintain an effective military—and that they’re the ones who should be in charge.
Masters explicitly called for a wholesale firing of the generals at least seven times between August 2021 and March 2022, according to a VICE News review of his remarks, and harshly criticized military leadership numerous other times.
“I think you probably want to fire most or all the generals and replace them with apolitical colonels, who will probably have conservative politics,” he said during a September 2021 Twitter Spaces event hosted by Josiah Lippincott, whose Twitter account has since been suspended, according to a recording of the event obtained by VICE News.
In November, Masters put out a tweet calling the top generals “woke corporate bozos,” and an accompanying video where he proclaimed “our military leadership is totally incompetent.”
It’s clear that Masters’ campaign video dissing the military’s top brass wasn’t a one-off.
“We just have to get serious again. And it means purging the military of the left-wing generals,” Masters said on the right-wing podcast Steak for Breakfast in February. “There’s a lot of center-right or apolitical colonels that we can promote.”
“Basically every general above a two-star at this point is some kind of left-wing politician, and they need to be fired and retired, and you need to promote the apolitical colonels who actually want to be serious about, again, projecting lethality when called upon,” he said in March to Arizona conservative radio host Garret Lewis.
Peter Feaver, a former Navy Lieutenant Commander who served on the National Security Council during both President Bill Clinton’s and President George W. Bush’s administrations… said Masters’ solution—replace supposedly liberal generals with a core of conservatives—would be disastrous, comparing it to the ideological purges of military brass in Russia that weakened the Red Army before WWII as well as before the current debacle in Ukraine.
“If you want to do something that would politicize the force and undermine lethality you could hardly design a more effective tool than to fire all the senior military leaders and then replace them with people chosen solely for their political views and not their professional merit. That is what Masters seems to be proposing,” he said. “That’s close to what Stalin and Putin did. And that didn’t work out well for them. Master’s cure is far worse than the disease.”
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