View Full Version : The Troops Have Moved On

05-29-2006, 09:35 AM
29 New York Times commentary by Major Owen West (USMCR) - The Troops Have Moved On (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/29/opinion/29west.html). Owen is Bing West's son (http://www.westwrite.com/)...

"Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease."

So said Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address, describing a war that put 11 percent of our citizens in uniform and had by that point killed nearly one of out every seven soldiers. That his words are relevant again now is a troubling indicator of our national endurance.

We are at the outset of a long war, and not just in Iraq. Yet it is being led politically by the short-sighted, from both sides of the aisle. The deterioration of American support for the mission in Iraq is indicative not so much of our military conduct there, where real gains are coming slowly but steadily, but of chaotic leadership.

Somehow Operation Iraqi Freedom, not a large war by America's historical standards, has blossomed into a crisis of expectations that threatens our ability to react to future threats with a fist instead of five fingers. Instead of rallying we are squabbling, even as the slow fuse burns.

One party is overly sanguine, unwilling to acknowledge its errors. The other is overly maudlin, unable to forgive the same. The Bush administration seeks to insulate the public from the reality of war, placing its burden on the few. The press has tried to fill that gap by exposing the raw brutality of the insurgency; but it has often done so without context, leaving a clear implication that we can never win...

06-14-2006, 06:40 PM
I belive OWENS is right. Becuase of fact I am in the military, my family asks me questions all the time about our forces and posture in the current theaters we are engaged in. It is clear they do not understand the nature of the Iraq war and have little base to understand it from politics and the news. We must instill AARS to promte leadership and the corrections of ineffectual TTp's on the battle feild and the ability to honestly look at our strategies to win with our military forces. Further the political establishment needs to explan the 5 W's of who, what , when , where, and why we are in Iraq and Afganastan and what it will meen for future American stability and national security to the American public. If given the best guess of the info at hand and a clear, but honest picture of the wars in which we are currently engaged i belive we can mediate many of these problems.