I have several thoughts regarding Military service. Please keep in mind that this comes from the perspective of a career military officer and disabled veteran. This rave deals with our leadership.
First off, I feel very strongly that all the officials, whether elected or appointed, who serve in the National Command Authority (President, Vice President, those who would succeed him, Service Secretaries, National Security Adviser, etc.) should all have, as a condition of taking that position, served at least one full tour (four years or longer) on active service in one of the branches of our military. As we have seen with Presidents Clinton, G W Bush and Obama, none of whom served in active military, they’ve all been too quick to go to war. They have no idea of the consequences because they have never served. They have no idea what it is like to be a young service person, whose life is on the line, because of a poorly advised, planned and executed operation.
Further, they use stand off weapons, such as cruise missiles and drones, with very little apparent concern. They justify it by saying that no US Service members’ lives are jeopardized by this. That may be true, but it misses a significant point. In conventional warfare, you see the eyes of the person you are engaging, and you are conscious of the human soul you are fighting. In use of stand off weapons, there is no such engagement, and so it is too easy to use these weapons.
We have, since World War II, served as the police force for the world. It is time that we insist that NATO and the EU stand up and protect Europe. I think the only reason we should have active presence in the Mediterranean, Europe, Northern Africa, or Southwest Asia, is to protect Israel. She is the only democracy in the Middle East, and all her neighbors would push her into the sea if we did not protect her. This is not the case for Europe, Asia or Africa.
This is not to say we should “bury our heads in the sand” as some people call this type of military positioning. I am saying that we spend far too much of our countries assets protecting Europe from an enemy who no longer exists. Let them protect themselves, and we’ll protect ourselves.
We need to take a far less aggressive stance throughout the world, and stop what seem like Imperialistic attacks all the time. We should have a very strong, trained, capable military, who protect our borders and are available to deploy when our interests are at risk, but we need to stop attacking other countries. We were attacked on September 11, 2001 because of our own actions, in my opinion. It is time that the leaders in the United States follow the creed that I learned long ago in one particular type of military unit “If you fire your weapons, you have failed in your mission.”