The Art of War a veteran’s point of view

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Whether we pull out of Afghanistan or not is under hot debate. I had been honorably discharged from the Army only a few years when the United States was attacked in New York. I was standing in a classroom full of high school students, teaching Beowulf, when the staff was told to turn on their televisions. There is no way for me to dictate my emotions as I watched. I now had a wife and children at home, but more than anything I wanted to go straight to a recruiting office and rejoin; after all, I had taken an oath to God and swore to defend our country from our enemies, both foreign and domestic. I felt like a coward . . . and to this day, I somewhat still do.

During my time in the military, there were two different engagements: the Panamanian Invasion and The Gulf War. I never had direct contact with the enemy, missing out on Panama all together and deployed to the ports of Germany to guard Patriot missiles during The Gulf War. I did lose one of my best friends in Afghanistan and still miss our small window of time together. Why am I telling you this? I guess it gives me some small amount of validity to my opinion of our participation in Afghanistan. Many people talk. About 100% of them have NO idea what they are talking about when it comes to the use of the military. Most of the talking heads are regurgitating data and talking points they heard from other talking heads.  I am aware that I am not a strategic part of any grand design of the military, but I have some noteworthy experience to speak on the topic.

Should we stay? Depends. Understand what I am about to write. The last full  measure of military force felt around the world and a proper display of American power and dominance was World War II. The two main engagements that followed there after, Korea and Vietnam, were repeated disasters. THIS IS NOT DIRECTED AT THE WARRIORS ON THE GROUND. My finger is pointed to the politicians fighting among themselves and sending mixed directives to our fighting forces who, a majority of time, had an almost impossible task of winning a war. In World War II for example, the press corps and politicians were involved, but on a limited scale. The objective was to win on BOTH fronts. Now, with a camera and a reporter pointing out any residual casualties of war and politicians wanting to bring our fighters up on charges, we are once again relegated to fighting a war with one hand tied around our balls. 

Should we stay? Depends. The United States has enough military might to win the war in Afghanistan in a week if used to its fullest extent. Stealth bombers completely destroying valleys of infested terrorists, divisions of infantry sweeping up after heavy carpet bombing, fighter jets dominating the air space and eliminating resupply convoys from Iran, China, Pakistan or anyone else who wants to take a chance, and fleets of Navy ships patrolling the Gulf of Oman. I am aware that it is not that simple, nor cheap, but sometimes I think about a one question: How would General George S. Patton or Omar Bradley take it to the enemy in Afghanistan? It is not like we do not have great leaders in our military today, but they are being hamstrung by Washington hands and those who whine about a rare bird in an Afghan tree that was killed by shrapnel. I am sure that it would not have fared much better for Patton and Bradley if they were in charge today.  

Should we stay? No. We have played at war for too many years now. Not our fighters on the front lines, but our bureaucrats who do not want to make someone uncomfortable. Our military fighters are dying because of all of the red tape to properly engage the enemy. We cannot bomb too close to an Afghanistan farm . . . wait . . . is he a farmer by day and a Taliban fighter by night? We cannot patrol this section because the Afghan government has deemed it a safe area that is free from terrorists. We cannot receive air support now because it has not been cleared by a tribal chief who failed to receive a written request at least two days in advance. 

Should we stay? Yes. We should give all of the American sacrifice in Afghanistan a plausible victory that validates and supports their dedication to duty.  A victory that is known all over the world. A victory that reminds other terrorist countries in the world not to bring their garbage to our side of the pond. The Earth should continually shake in that area for a couple of weeks. War is a nasty thing. Believe it not, many times it is necessary to root out evil. If are squeamish, turn your head until it is over. 

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”  ― George Orwell


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