Overdue

August 21, 2012 - 9:31 AM

In my personal opinion, there is a basic two-pronged flaw in American foreign policy when it comes to military action.

1. We go to war and put American troops in harm's way without even deciding what will define winning, leaving an open-ended fiasco that amounts to more occupation instead of to victory over whatever, or whoever, we go to war with.

We bind the hands of our troops with regulations and rules of engagement dictated by diplomats and politicians who have never done anything more dangerous than sit behind a desk and shuffle paper, while the other side has no rules and murders our soldiers while wearing the uniform of a supposed ally.

If a military unit makes a mistake that causes collateral damage, the media in this country and around the world jump on them with both feet, blowing a small incident that was beyond their control into something done coldly and intentionally portrayed as just short of genocide.

Young men and women can go into battle and risk their lives, but out of deference to the Muslim countries we are trying to liberate, they can't even drink a beer in their off time and walk on egg shells to make sure they don't offend any religious sensibilities or disturb any wildlife. All the while, they never know if one of the friendlies will turn out to be a suicide bomber or pull out a gun and start shooting.

We kowtow to the opinion of countries who are not even our friends and fear bad press from the media of nations that would give us bad reviews no matter what we undertake.

Enough!

If America is going to send troops into any foreign country, we should have a concrete definition of what constitutes victory and go in knowing that there will be a certain amount of collateral damage. It can’t be avoided in war and we should give enough credit to the good sense and moral character of our troops to know they will avoid it if at all possible.

2. We make the mistake of measuring everybody else's passion and definition of freedom and prosperity by our own. Afghanistan is a prime example.

The people of Afghanistan basically have no concept of a central government whose laws supersede the laws and customs of their own tribe or sect. Afghanistan is not a confederation of states or provinces. In fact, it's not even a confederation. It’s made up of far flung mini-empires ruled by warlords and tribal elders, and about the only thing that unites them is a common enemy. Ask the Russians, the English and, unfortunately, the Americans.

Trying to unite Afghanistan under a central government is tantamount to trying to make a handful of negatively charged magnets stick together - and their concept of prosperity is a larger goat herd or more modern weapons. Political corruption is normal, and raising poppies for the heroin trade is just another crop.

The country itself is huge and remote with little infrastructure and mass communications is sparse and limited.

In my opinion, we don't understand these people; we don't understand their customs or religion. In short, we just don't understand what makes them tick.

There is no partisan political content in what I'm about to say because both major parties are guilty of proliferating the war in Afghanistan

Our troops have served valiantly, even in the impossible situation the deskbound politicians have placed them in.

It's time to bring them home.

Pray for our troops, and for our country.

What do you think?

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

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