What does 'COVFEFE' mean? Try rising military morale
Now here's a photo from our U.S. armed forces in the field worth a look:
It's an M109 self-propelled tank from an undisclosed field location, bearing President Trump's cryptic Twitter typo, COVFEFE, according to the Daily Caller, which ran the picture yesterday. COVFEFE was the subject of much speculation, mostly on the left, as to what it might have meant. In this case, one of the troops has helpfully given the answer: rising military morale. You never saw such repetitions of presidential words during the Obama administration. Did anyone ever stamp 'You didn't build that' or 'If you like your health care' on one of the barrels of a howitzer?
It comes against the backdrop of two things.
One, military morale has been disastrously low, with the military rating the legacy of Commander in Chief Obama in acidic terms across every service. Morale reached a rock bottom low in 2015 with 52% of the troops across all branches "pessimistic about their future," and 70% expecting it to get even worse, representing a 30-point plunge since Obama came to office, according to a Military Times poll. That was after the military spent $287 million during six of the Obama years on an "optimism program." Go figure that one out - sweet deal for some NGO sociology-majors probably. The various analysts of this survey cited bad pay, troop drawdowns, lack of support from Washington in the deployments in hellholes like Afghanistan and Iraq, and micromanaging of field decisions from the lawyers and White House petty officials. But most of all, there was commander-in-chief who didn't believe in their mission - and who didn't believe in victory. He just preferred to let the wars slog on and the soldiers pay the price.
Now the howitzers say 'COVFEFE.' You don't put a signature typo of a commander in chief on a howitzer unless you really enjoy it. Imagine the satisfaction of a U.S. soldier hitting a cave full of terrorists coming from a weapon with that on it. This has to mean there's been a turnaround.
Which brings me to my second point. Saturday, the CNN reported in ominous terms that President Trump was shifting and delegating powers over to the military. Here's the headline:
How Trump is empowering the military -- and raising some eyebrows
Here's the lede:
In his first six months in office, President Donald Trump has overseen a steady transfer of power from the White House to the Pentagon, handing off several warfighting authorities that previously rested in his hands -- and those of past presidents of both parties -- to the Pentagon and the commanders overseeing the US' military campaigns.
CNN reports this as a horror show, but its second graf tells us everything we need to know:
The moves are intended to empower the military at a tactical level, bolstering the US' intensifying fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups to praise from several current and former military officials.
Basically, no more micromanaging from petty White House officials with creative writing pedigrees and absolutely no knowledge of conditions in the field. Yes, there were such people there, check out National Security Council deputy advisor Ben Rhodes. Note that the linked New York Times profile came out in May 2016, precisely when military morale had reached its nadir.
Today, that doesn't seem to be the case. The military is enjoying its capacity to win victories with its newly decorated howitzer barrels. It's a sign it's now going to be allowed to win some - and it's going to win.