Spectators will try to make this scandal about many things: the arrogance of powerful men; conniving mistresses; the silent epidemic of sexual assault in the armed services. But these explanations obscure an underlying problem: the devastating influence of an open-ended war — now in its 11th year — on the families of U.S. service members.
As much as I'd like to blame the war in Afghanistan for this (and other) recent failures by our military's top brass to behave properly, I simply can't. Not only would it be an insult to those who have endured multiple deployments and still remained true to their spouses, it would also be excusing behavior which is inexcusable. In peacetime, that would be wrong. Now it can cost lives.
Mr. Gates today has been complaining about allies in Afghanistan who have lost their taste for American imperialism.
“Frankly, there is too much talk about leaving and not enough talk about getting the job done right,” Mr. Gates said. “Too much discussion of exit and not enough discussion about continuing the fight. Too much concern about when and how many troops might redeploy and not enough about what needs to be done before they leave.”
Let me make it easy, Mr. Gates. There's only one thing to do before you leave: Apologize. To America, to the world, and especially to the people of Afghanistan. You screwed up. Don't make it worse by pretending there's any rational course to "stay."
Submitted by Martha Brock on Wed, 11/10/2010 - 11:02am
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.
If more of our sons, daughters, grandchildren and friends were deployed as part of mandated service, there is no way our presidents would have the political capital to get entangled in limited, non-decisive and seemingly unending warfare like that being practiced in Afghanistan.
Another troubling trend stemming from the all-volunteer force is its growing dependence on contractors to do the work citizen-soldiers performed in previous wars...In other words, you and I are funding a second, stealth force in Afghanistan and Iraq outside the direct responsibility and accountability of our military and elected leaders.
Martinez makes some good points in this piece, and I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge that. But I reserve the right to skewer him for future writings. :)
Top Army officials worry that the case against Specialist Morlock and four other soldiers accused in the killings of three Afghan civilians will undermine efforts to build relationships with Afghans in the war against the Taliban.
It's hard to say which war will prove more destructive to America's long term strategic interests, Vietnam or Iraq. And unfortunately, Obama's "surge" in Afghanistan is coming on fast as a new contender for biggest blunder. The end state is clear as a bell, and no amount of political happy talk from U.S. generals will make one bit of difference in the long run.
Generals are for firing. And wars are for ending. By continuing to keep the US engaged in Afghanistan, you are following in the footsteps of the Worst President Ever. Your plan is unraveling because it was never very tightly woven in the first place. It's time to go.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 1:48pm
It amazes me that the president of the U.S. can "sneak off" to a major war zone and absolutely no one knows it. From what the news media is saying, not even Afghanistan leader Karzai or General McChrystal knew he was coming. Guess there wasn't a caked baked, huh? :)
I love this. You just have to know that Obama is putting pressure on Karzai (and General McChrystal as well) because he is adamant about getting our troops out of there by next year. Obama is not taking his latest win with health care reform and just sitting back on his laurals. He is going forward with his agenda on war. We are now gradually withdrawing our forces in Iraq and that is Obama's goal in Afghanistan. Talk about a savings to our country fiscally !! Say what you want about the cost of some of the recent efforts by the current administration. If Obama can get our asses out of Iraq and Afghanistan, that will go a LONG WAY to keeping our country's expenditures down.
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