I’ve said it a million times and I’ll now say it for the million and first time: You fight wars to win. If you’re not committed to winning, leave. If you don’t leave, and fight a half-assed war, you end with dead soldiers. That’s what happened in Vietnam, and that’s what Obama and Biden are planning to see happen in Afghanistan.
Although a liberal assured me I shouldn’t worry. He said that a “vast majority” (and who knew 53% was a vast majority?) of Americans voted for Obama and Biden and that those two can therefore be trusted to make the right decisions. I suggested, more politely than this idiot deserved, that Obama’s and Biden’s profound lack of military experience meant that Americans trusted them to following the generals (whom Americans do trust to know how to wage war), rather than to go their own way. “Oh, no,” he responded. “We have to have faith in Obama.” When I hit that religious wall, I knew all rational discourse was over.
Trust Jennifer Rubin, of course, to explain exactly what the problem is with the advisors to whom Obama is listening. Having given Biden a fair hearing, Obama’s now turned to someone else:
The bad news is that Kerry is Obama’s new best adviser. What this boils down to is chiseling on the troops by dragging the process out so as to “diffuse the political problem of asking Congress to fund 40,000 more troops — at about $40 billion — all at once.” Because, with a trillion dollars needed for a health-care bill the voters don’t want, we plainly don’t have $40B to win a critical war, right? And Obama can’t be expected to persuade Congress to do what is needed to win the war, so “diffusing” — denying his general the troops he says he needs — is the way to go.
My advice, and I never thought I’d say this, is that if you are a young person contemplating a military career, wait four years and see who our next president is. The current president has no care for your welfare. And if your enlistment is up, take the skills you’ve learned and go elsewhere.
UPDATE: Apropos my final suggestion, maybe military service is still worth the greater risks the Obami are creating. In a National Review Online interview, Dan Senor and Saul Singer, authors of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, explain why the military is such an essential part of Israel’s incredible economic vitality:
LOPEZ: What’s the secret of its success?
DAN SENOR: Our book dives into many interacting factors, but one of the most important is the training and battlefield experience that most Israelis receive in the military. The military is where many Israelis learn to lead and manage people, improvise, become mission-oriented, work in teams, and contribute to their country. They tend to come out of their years of service (three for men, two for women) more mature and directed than their peers in other countries. They learn “the value of five minutes,” as one general told us. They even learn something more uniquely Israeli: to speak up — regardless of ranks and hierarchy — if they think things can be done better.
Certainly that jives with what I’ve seen of people who enter and leave our military.
When I was growing up, one of the neighborhood boys was a slacker before that term was invented. He was a bright kid who lay on the couch, watched TV and drank beer. When his parents kicked him out, he ended up joining the military because he thought it was a way to avoid “real” work. The military was the making of him. It gave him the discipline he’d sorely lacked before. When he got out, a long time later, he became one of the early dot com millionaires. He was never one of the huge players, but he also had moved so far beyond the couch slacker that it was hard to believe the two were the same people.
UPDATE II: Please see a further discussion in the comments section to this post regarding the pros and cons of staying, not in the military, but in Obama’s military. I think my point is valid, but I’m awfully impressed by the arguments coming in from the other side.