Friday, September 24, 2010

Time Table for Withdrawal

I’m very annoyed at the Commander-in-Chief for giving our enemies a time table to end combat operations. Has he learned nothing from history? Does he not have a clue about running an effect war? Just who in the hell are his advisors anyway?

Oh, I understand that he is playing to his liberal minions and that he is attempting to fulfill a campaign promise. But here is the problem with that. Soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen are still in the field and are engaged by an enemy that is ruthless, uncaring, murderous, dangerous and without morals. He’ll tell you one thing and then stab you in the back. It has been this way since the beginning of time and you would think that anyone who as ever studied history would know this.

But let’s look at some of this history. Lyndon Johnson lied us into the war in Vietnam (I just mention this so we can get away from the Bush lied us into war in Iraq... they all do this). Richard Nixon lied to keep us engaged in Vietnam and then lied to get us out.

In the meantime the men and women of the military made the sacrifices that the country asked, often without question, doing what they believed to be the honorable thing to do. And what did it gain them?

A lack of support from the civilian chain of command. Richard Nixon could have ended the Vietnam War the day he took office with the same results he got four years later. Instead, he came up with his plan, put it into effect a week before the election and achieved his goal... reelection.

Of course the communists lied to him... or Henry Kissinger, and the minute the American ground forces were gone, rolled over the South Vietnamese Army. As I say, our withdrawal could have been accomplished four years earlier with a reduction in the lost of American lives and the same, ultimate outcome.

The point? Politics took precedence over responsible pursuit of the war. Those who were hurt? The military men and women and their families... but this war didn’t touch everyone. You could walk down the street and see no sign of the conflict. Who cared?... except those in uniform and those who loved them.

President Obama apparently didn’t study the Vietnam War. He is obviously unaware that the North Vietnamese knew, based on what was published in our newspapers and broadcast on our news, that all they had to do was wait. Engage in some combat, but just wait. Eventually we would tire and leave... which we did.

And once we were out, we would not be inclined to re-engage, no matter how swiftly the North Vietnamese violated the peace agreement. They knew we wouldn’t come back...

And now here we are, forty years later, and that lesson of history has been lost on today’s politicians... democrat and republican (no, they don’t deserve capital letters). With Bush in office, the democrats offered resistance every step of the way. Now with Obama in office the republicans are resisting and no one seems to notice how they have changed sides. Politics over rational thought and strategic planning.

But the war continues. American military men and women (sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers) are engaged in combat while the politicians are engaged in rhetoric. These politicians claim to be for the "troops" but when push comes to shove, they are for their own political party, their own political agenda, and their own political life. The troops be damned.

So now the president has said that he will end the combat operations in Afghanistan next year, as promised. He said that he will analyze the situation then and make a decision, but we all know that politics will be the deciding factor here. The military situation will not dictate the solution. Politics will.

In the end, it will be the military who make the sacrifices and the only ones who really worry about them are their families and friends. No one pays attention to this any more because the important stories such as which Hollywood idiot was arrested, who is in jail and who is out, and the important story of how the Oval Office has been redecorated will fill the "news hole."

In this case, however, the Commander-in-Chief ought to read the history. He should not make a decision that unnecessarily puts the military at risk nor should he announce his strategic decisions months before he puts his plans into action. In this case, he should not be a politician but take the title, Commander-in-Chief to heart and understand what it means. In that way he can transcend the nonsense of some of our past Commanders-in-Chief. But only if he can set aside politics and I have seen nothing to suggest he is capable of this... and in the end, it is the military who will suffer.

No comments:

Post a Comment