here about what it considers the high stakes in the charges against the skippers of the McCain and the Fitzgerald. Was the decision to prefer negligent homicide charges "dicey"? "It’s a move that will have a potentially far-reaching impact on all services and service members up and down the chain of command. It raises unsettling questions about the scope — and limitations — of a commander’s responsibility." The editors write:
The Navy is taking a big risk here.It is concerning that the editorial concludes that the two commanding officers deserve to be punished. Maybe they do, but maybe they don't. It would be fairer to wait for the facts to unfold in the Article 32, UCMJ, preliminary hearings.
Will these criminal charges discourage future leaders from seeking command?
Will this make commanders more risk-averse when making the split-second, life-or-death decisions that they might face?
Will this hurt morale if sailors view this as a politically motivated decision by admirals seeking to appease their critics?