I’m not a fan of war!
You might say: “Duh! Who is?
I can point you to a number of distinguished members of congress who believe that the military option is the first and best response to any international conflict.
I believe that the military option should be exercised when and only when all other measures have failed and only in those situations where OUR national security is threatened.
That said I believe in a strong military. I believe that a strong well armed well trained military is the best deterrent to keeping our enemies a bay. Without a strong military I believe that there are those abroad who would be more than willing to come to our shores and end our way of life.
The key to using military force is knowing when and how to use it effectively.
Take the current military action being waged against ISIS. Surprisingly I agree with Rand Paul that the war against ISIS is illegal. The War Powers Act states that if the president believes that our national security is threatened, he can order the military into action for a period of 60 days without getting congressional approval. If congress has not weighed in within 60 days the president has 30 days to end the military action. Yesterday marked the 90th day of conflict against ISIS. Congress has demonstrated little political interest in voting on the issue. Winning elections does not necessarily require one to grow a back bone. This war is in violation of the constitution. The president should stop the conflict and bring the troops home.
Instead the president has announced that he has asked congress to provide funding to send another 1500 troops into Iraq; bringing the number of troops in theater to 3,000. Ostensibly these troops will be used to train and mobilize the Iraqi army to take the fight to ISIS. Does anybody in his right mind believe that 3,000 US military personnel are going to be able to accomplish in short order what 160,000 US military personnel could not in over a decade?
This is a failed strategy that has zero chance of success. These 3,000 “advisors,” hell the entire ISIS operation, is nothing more than a stalling tactic to hold off ISIS and appease our allies until some presently unknown better solution can be discovered. There is no military solution in the Middle East. These troops are risking their lives to be used as pawns in a political game. The fact that congress and the American people are allowing that to happen is unconscionable.
That is why I respect the military. Time and time again they volunteer to put their lives at risk for people they’ve never met in far off lands they never knew existed. Time and again they serve as political pawns, moved them about like inanimate objects by those who dwell in the comfort and safety of our shores. Yet they continue to serve. .
Certainly some volunteer because they like the idea of killing bad guys and blowing things up; others because they see the military as a way out of a seemingly dead end existence. Regardless of their motivation, once engaged they demonstrate a sense of duty, camaraderie and sacrifice not found anywhere else in our society. Regardless of their motivation; the fact that they volunteer knowing full well that they may ultimately give their life for their fellow man has earned them my deepest sense of respect and gratitude. As a writer I sit here today knowing that it is ultimately the sacrifice of those who currently serve and those who served before them that allows me to pen my thoughts without fear of retribution.
So on this day I say thank you to those who serve and those who served before them; who sacrificed their lives so that I may live mine.