Ideally, the military is under the control of the people. This is a central, mandatory rule of democracy. We can't have an autocratic military leadership. Either it takes orders from us, or it ceases to exist. Period.
We found out that this isn't quite true, of course, when the military brass disobeyed our desires and sent our soldiers in to Iraq in support of the U.S. military invasion. (It was billed as a training mission, but this is mere camouflage).
One of the themes of Linda McQuaig's "Holding the Bully's Coat" is that the military brass have too much power to decide their own missions. When the Wall came down and the Soviet Union fell, the Liberal government decided to change the purpose of our military to make it the greatest peacekeeping force, and have the premiere peacekeeping training facility, in the world. The military objected and used its "think tanks" to lobby the media and government so it could continue to have all the fancy gadgets it needed to fight a land war across Europe.
One would have thought, with the Harper Conservatives in charge, with Gordon O'Connor and Peter McKay being such big spenders on behalf of the military, that the senior officers would be more obedient.
It turns out that, no, they won't be. Even though "Arctic sovereignty" was a major platform plank for the Conservatives, the military brass don't seem to give a damn:
The report says Canada Command failed to issue a set of orders that had been planned to help disseminate instructions on Operation Nanook.
Apparently our military brass don't understand how this works. If they're going to play the American Empire game, then their goal as a military is to place special importance on oil and natural gas reserves. Thus Iraq. Thus Afghanistan.
Gentlemen, you only get the latest toys if you can make yourselves useful. Peacekeeping doesn't count. It doesn't get us oil and it doesn't get you the latest toys to play with. There's a lot of oil under that Arctic ice. We just have to wait for it to melt.
I'm sure someone will explain it to them shortly and they'll come around. I just think it's neat to see the military disobeying not just the ignorant people, not just the namby-pamby naive Liberals, but also the Conservatives.