1789 – The U.S. War Department was established by the U.S. Congress.

United States Department of War

War Department, United States, federal executive department organized (1789) to administer the military establishment. It was reconstituted (1947) as the Dept. of the Army when the military administration was reorganized (see Defense, United States Department of ). During the American Revolution, military affairs were largely supervised by the Continental Congress, and under the Articles of Confederation a secretary of war was put in charge of defense matters.

In Aug., 1789, the U.S. War Dept., headed by the Secretary of War with cabinet rank, was created to organize and maintain the U.S. army—under the command of the President in time of peace and war. Subsequent legislation expanded the department’s organization, and until 1903 the commanding general of the army and various staff departments aided the Secretary in guiding the military establishment. Its supervision of naval affairs was soon transferred (Apr., 1798) to the U.S. Dept. of the Navy.

At times the War Dept. supervised quasimilitary matters—e.g., the distribution of bounty lands, pensions (see Interior, United States Department of the ), Indian affairs (see Indian Affairs, Bureau of ), and the Reconstruction of the South after the Civil War, but by the 20th cent. the only such responsibilities that remained were the construction of public works in connection with rivers and harbors and the maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal.

Meanwhile, the purely military functions of the department were vastly expanded in war periods, and after the Spanish-American War the War Dept. was thoroughly reorganized (1903). The office of the commanding general of the army was abolished, and the general staff corps was established to coordinate the army under the direction of the chief of staff, who was charged with supervising the planning of national defense and with the mobilization of the military forces. Thereafter the War Dept. absorbed several new functions; it was given supervision over the newly created National Guard , and under the National Defense Act of 1916 the officers’ reserve corps was created within the department’s organization.

This act also established the office of Assistant Secretary of War to coordinate the procurement of munitions. After World War I the War Dept. was again revamped (1922). Its scope of military activities, however, remained wide, stretching from the supervision of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) to the guidance of insular affairs and occupied territories and to the intricate organization of defense. In World War II plans were laid to coordinate the activities of the armed services, and with the creation (1947) of the National Military Establishment—which later became (1949) the U.S. Dept. of Defense—the War Dept. was reconstituted as the Dept. of the Army, which became a division of the Dept. of Defense. The Secretary of War, holding a post with high cabinet rank, became the Secretary of the Army, an office without cabinet rank, and several of the department’s functions, notably those connected with the air arm, were transferred.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Government


Kakistocracy … could these be templates for the trump govt?

See the source image


Independent political analyst, Vienna, Yerevan, Austria
Received 29 December 2009, Accepted 2 March 2010, Available online 15 May 2010.

The article ‘Kakistocracy or The true story of what happened in the post-Soviet area’ argues that the countries, emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, chose three distinct models of development: the Baltic model, when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the Euro-Atlantic security structures; the Belarusian model, when the country opted for an authoritarian rule with a possible transition from the communist totalitarianism to an open society; and the Russian model, when under the slogans of democracy and market economy a new type of regime was established in Russia and a number of post-Soviet countries.

To characterize this new type of regime the definition of ‘kakistocracy’ has been introduced, which means a merger between the state structures and the oligarchic elements as a result of the systematic plunder of national assets and establishment of a rule of lawlessness and illegal usurpation of power under the slogans of democracy and market economy.

Furthermore, the split of the CiS and the formation of two groups of countries, respectively the GUAM and the CSTO, have been considered from the viewpoint of their different strategic goals and orientations.

A section is devoted to the cardinal differences between the strategic visions of Yeltsin and Putin. The latter’s policy can be formulated as the Putin’s doctrine aimed at restoring Russia’s influence through centralization of power, internally, and demonstration of military force and energetic blackmail, externally. The kakistocratic regimes lead to a political and socio-economic collapse, triggering popular unrest. This exactly was the reason of the ‘orange’ revolutions, which in most of the cases are the only way to topple kakistocratcy.

In conclusion, it is suggested that the other way of getting rid of kakistocracy would be a cardinal change in Russia’s policy. While the strategic goal of the country should remain restoring its international influence and authority, the means should shift from heavily relying on military power and energetic resources toward focusing on the Russian spiritual values and potential for facing new threats and challenges to international peace and security.

Independent political analyst, Vienna, Yerevan, Austria
Received 29 December 2009, Accepted 2 March 2010, Available online 15 May 2010.


Kakistocracy N. Government by the worst citizens (Peter Bowler, 2002)

1. Introduction
After almost two decades of the Soviet Union’s disintegration a lot remains to be clarified on what in reality took place in the former Soviet republics, what kind of transformation did they undergo and what are their development trends. This subject seems to be important for a number of reasons, which have both internal and external implications. To put it succinctly, it is crucial that a considerable part of the planet’s population could develop its political, socio-economic and cultural potential, internally, and contribute to the progress of mankind and international peace and security, externally.

The difficulty of in-depth understanding of the processes and trends in the post-Soviet area stems from the abundance of misinterpretations and false targets due to the euphoria after the collapse of the Soviet empire which, at first sight, heralded the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era. It was exactly in the late 1980s and the early 1990s that Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History and the Last Men”, predicting that history should definitely choose liberal democracy as humanity’s ultimate achievement thus precluding any qualitatively new historic development, became and still remains a bestseller (Francis Fukuyama, 1992). It is exactly in 1990 that the Conference (at present – Organization) on Security and Co-operation in Europe adopted the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (1990), where the Heads of State or Government of the Conference solemnly proclaimed a ‘new era of Democracy, Peace and Unity’.

Indeed, in early 1990s the ex-Soviet countries were admitted to the United Nations1, became OSCE participating States and nowadays all of them, save Belarus and the Central Asian countries, are members of the Council of Europe, which per se could have been a clear indicator of their commitment to observe human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This accession to the international organizations and acceptance of the international instruments and laws went in parallel with internal changes, which seemed to bring about the establishment of democratic structures and market economy, thus ostensibly materializing the authoritative predictions of political scientists and the enthusiastic statements of politicians.

Unfortunately, over the past twenty years the historic reality proved to be a different one. The bypassing of the UN Security Council in some critical decision-making instances, the deep crisis of the OSCE, the transformation of the Council of Europe from an exclusive into an inclusive organization, where the behaviour of certain newly admitted members has become subject to periodic discussions and permanent concern – all these facts reflect the deeper tendencies of a new divide and discord between the West and the East and the international community’s obvious failure to unite its resources and political will vis-à-vis the new threats and challenges to international peace and security.

While discussing the causes of this divide and considering the possible ways out of such a situation should become subject to a comprehensive and detailed analysis, this article aims at concentrating on the real situation in the post-Soviet countries and its impact on the international developments. In order to achieve this objective the article will consider the different groups of states that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in particular, the CIS countries and the fault lines between them. Furthermore, an attempt will be done to formulate a definition meant to reveal the genuine nature of the ruling regimes in the bulk of the post-Soviet countries. It is all the more important since the nature of power in those countries triggered the so controversial ‘orange revolutions’, and will most probably trigger new ones jeopardizing the security environment not only internally, but regionally and even at a larger scale.

Understanding the real nature of the regimes that dominate in most of the post-Soviet countries is necessary for the politicians and the civil society both in those countries and internationally, because it is not possible to find a remedy without knowing the root causes of a threat, which is covered with the veil of good intentions but has an enormous potential to spread over stealthily and imperceptibly.

for the complete article … go to: sciencedirect.com

1782 – George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart.


Purple HeartWar Department, United States, federal executive department organized (1789) to administer the military establishment. It was reconstituted (1947) as the Dept. of the Army when the military administration was reorganized (see Defense, United States Department of ). During the American Revolution, military affairs were largely supervised

General Washington’s general orders of August 7, 1782, began: “The General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth

For the first time in history, recognition for meritorious service in time of war, was available to the common soldier. George Washington personally bestowed the Badge of Merit on only three non-commissioned officers, though evidence suggests that other such awards were bestowed by subordinate officers.
The Badge of Merit fell into disuse after the Revolution, though the award was never formally abolished.

In 1927, Army Chief of Staff General Charles Summerall directed that a bill be drafted and submitted to Congress, “To revive the Badge of Military Merit”. This badge of merit came to be known as the Purple Heart. General Douglas MacArthur, Summerall’s successor, began work on a new design for the medal in 1931. Elizabeth Will, heraldic specialist with the Quartermaster General’s office, created the design we see today.
A War Department circular dated February 22, 1932 authorized the award to soldiers who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons on or later than April 6, 1917, the day the United States entered WWI.

At that time, the Purple Heart was awarded not only for wounds received in action against enemy forces, but also for “meritorious performance of duty”.

The first Purple Heart was awarded to Douglas MacArthur himself.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9277 of December 3, 1942, discontinued the award for meritorious service, and broadened service-related injury eligibility requirements to include all armed services personnel.

Following the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII, Military planners put their minds to the invasion of Imperial Japan. Knowing nothing of the atomic bombs which would put a quick end to the war that August, authorities ordered 500,000 purple hearts. To this day, American military forces have yet to use them all up. As of 2003, 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals, remained in inventory.
On November 22, 1944, Time Magazine reported the first Purple Heart awarded to an animal. “Chips“, a German Shepherd/Collie/Husky mix, also received the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star, for single “handedly” wiping out an Italian machine-gun nest, during the Allied invasion of Sicily.

Cape Cod Curmudgeon
Posted on
August 7, 2017
American History, Dogs
Purple Heart, TodayinHistory.blog


RIP to my brother walt, who gave his life to a career as a marine and honored with at least 2 purple hearts ….