Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The two battlefields

It amuses me when people talk about the US military being bent to the breaking point. Our military is a federal agency with all the bureaucracy and inefficiency that is inherent. When we talk about it reaching the breaking point today, we are talking about niceties like long periods of time away from combat, being fully equipped and trained, having sufficient support, etc. If we were in a real war like WWII, the US military would suddenly find incredible reserves of capability. That's the trouble with how we view the war in Iraq. We don't think of it or treat it like a real war like WWII. That is a complaint you will hear from many soldiers. Only a small percentage understand that this is a real war while the rest are really not affected by it and frankly don't really care except that the negative news makes them feel bad which is why there are so many people on the left who believe that they can support the troops and yet not support the mission and why there are so many people on the right who aren't providing the troops the resources and freedom they need to win.

On the other side of the coin, it amuses me when people talk up the efforts of Al Quaida, Sadr and their followers. Let's put it this way. If the US military is on the breaking point, their enemies have been broken even before they began to fight. Each successful attack is plastered all over the media, but what is ignored are the hundreds or thousands of attacks that failed and the disproportionate amount of casualties those who attack our soldiers have taken. If you had to choose a side to fight for that would ensure your greatest survival and military success, it would be definitely be the US military "on the breaking point" rather than the "triumphant" enemy.

The trouble is that battlefield of the hearts and minds of the American people became just as important as the battlefield on the ground from Vietnam and on. A loss on either battlefield means a loss on both. We are winning militarily on the ground, but we are losing the war with the American people's patience and commitment. Our enemy has the easy job because they can fail hundreds or thousands of times, but it only takes relatively few successful attacks to affect the fickle US public significantly. Not only that, we have those, mostly on the left, who use this for their own agenda as well which becomes a force multiplier for the enemy attacks on the American hearts and minds.

1 comment:

Raymond said...

It's nice to see someone talk some sense on a blog.

Keep it up.