Rodger Koopman of Raleigh obtained two Master's degrees while on active duty in the US Air Force. He has a Master's of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's of Science in Computer Information Systems from Boston University.
Now retired from the Air Force and no longer in public office, Koopman is concentrating his efforts on building his business endeavors, and he travels frequently on business trips across the US and beyond.
He is a thoughtful and well-read individual. He is also unafraid to speak his mind.
I was seeking just this sort of person with whom to discuss the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during the Mid-term election season, and Rodger granted me an interview. Rodger spoke as a retired Air Force captain, and as the husband of a National Guard officer.
[We did our interview following the US Senate Debate on Oct. 24th, and I raised questions about the debate questions and the candidates’ answers to Rodger.]
Koopman on the wars and the 2010 Election
Rodger said of the election then, “The majority of the public is only listening to sound bites.
[Fomer President George] Bush, [former Vice-president Dick] Cheney, and [former Secretary of State Condoleeza] Rice are criminals and traitors, and they should be in jail for what they did to our country.”
“The amount of money it has cost us for these wars, well, many more Democrats should have stood up to Bush, “ said Koopman.
“[President Barack] Obama has the very best guys in charge of this thing—Patraeus is the most qualified guy we can put in there. We neglected Afghanistan for four years, while we were focused on Iraq instead.
“The Chief asked for 300-400,000 troops for Afghanistan. That’s why they fired the Army Chief of Staff during the lead up to Iraq,” Koopman continued.
It was the Republicans in Congress that got him fired, and Senator Richard Burr was in the U. S. Senate at the time that this happened according to Koopman.
When asked about the importance of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” issue for the front line warriors, Koopman replied that DADT is just a wedge issue the GOP is using to fire up its voting base.
Koopman said he was much more interested in who is going to do the right thing in Afghanistan. He said the military leadership is focused on the mission, and rightly so. But their focus is on how to win but not the cost or the long-term commitment of troops required to get a military victory.
He said Obama is really smart, but the President realizes this conflict cannot be an “open-ended” commitment. There are simply not the resources of $2 Trillion, like is now being spent in Iraq.
Koopman said, “It is just insane to think we can continue on the path we are now on. It really is about how you vote on bills [once elected], not what you say to voters [during the campaign for office].”