As is the case sometimes with doing RED Friday posts every week, not all of them are happy, and not all of them are ‘new’. While we try and post new things often, and include good news articles from time to time, there’s always a thought that we still have troops deployed in harms way. I know that could change soon if president Trump gets his way, and as with many things ‘political’ this latest news of plans for our troops being withdrawn from Syria and Afghanistan are divided. And unfortunately even though it shouldn’t be, whatever goes on with our military, our troops… it always becomes political.
I know there are valid and good reasons to bring them home. Some have been deployed on and off for a decade or close to it. They deserve to come home, knowing they’ve done more than anyone should have expected them to do- and they have served incredibly. As things seem to wind down, regional conflicts and civil wars aren’t meant for our troops to be over there without a real exit strategy. People are war weary, and don’t believe it should be left up to our troops to be the world’s policemen, or the world’s reconstruction/builder of nations. Believe me, I do agree.
But. There are also valid and good reasons why it’s a bad idea of announcing a withdrawal- especially mistaking things as a civil war and that terrorists are decimated. We’ve heard that before- JV Team, on the run and decimated… And look how well the announced exit from Iraq worked out. Not only ISIS, but the Syrian civil war being made a free for all between jihadists of all stripes, ‘the enemy of my enemy’ comes to mind, not to mention Iran gaining a major hold not only in Syria, but Iraq and Yemen and good ol’ Russia. I know- I know, but I can’t help, to quote Yogi Berra, I have a de ja vous all over again.
I’ve mentioned before that it’s generally easy to be an armchair General, from the comfort of our computers here at home and we all have strong opinions.
There are so many ins and outs, details and things going on under the cover of secrecy that I realize there were plenty of things that I’ve written about in the past and not so distant past that I could only guess at, and that there are way more things that I just seem to jump in with both feet in my mouth- because I’m way over here, without the input of anyone “in charge” or anyone over there. So this is all, like it or not, agree or not, my heart bits talking.
When it comes to the issue of nation building, or working training coalitions of locals and other nations’ troops, folks believe it shouldn’t always be up to us. And yes, as I said, I do agree to a point, but at the same time- it’s been a given for about 100 years that America is the one everyone else runs to, or it is our Military that always had the strength to go in and get the job done, and our heart to keep over there until it’s all cleaned up and the people safe too. I know our founders had things to say about foreign entanglements, and they did for a reason, but it seems to me, and it seemed to me even before I moved to the US that America had assumed the mantle of the protective older brother.
I’ve said over the past year or so that I’m glad things have gotten better for our military under Trump, and I mean that. Anything that helps our guys over wherever they are, or that deals with things to keep them safer, I have absolutely no problem with Trump being CinC. But as with everything else he has always been against the wars, so it’s not surprising he’d go against any advice from those he surrounded himself with and proclaimed his intent to bring them home. Under Trump, our military has gotten some of their strength back, and promises again of being the best in the world. So, why be the best if they’re going to be drawn back? And what happens when they are drawn back?
I had posted a two part article last year, which thankfully turned out well for those involved in one particular case. But what about others who didn’t have such a happy ending? It was bad enough in Iraq when the villagers who’d risked their lives to help Americans, and those training with Americans all of a sudden found themselves face to face with ISIS not long after our withdrawal, children too who came to trust our guys…
It was infuriating when O withdrew our troops, not only to allow any and all terrorists to reorganize and strengthen, but the betrayal of those who’d come to depend on us was worse, and it was the troops who felt as though they were cutting out on them. Is that going to happen again now with Afghanistan? Syria? How are the Kurds going to deal with Turkey massacring them? Maybe things will be different, and some of the coalition trained guys will be able to handle things for themselves. But it seems to me a grave mistake to believe Turkey, Iran and Russia will clean up and make things right over there. They all have their own agendas, and it doesn’t mean they care about the civilians of any nation- especially Israel or Kurds.
I have to wonder at a few other things with the announcements though. If he’s bringing them home, does that mean they all get to come home? Just as O’s promise of no boots on the ground was a pile of manure, the idea that our troops are going to come home, doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any more of our guys over there. And without going into detail on who does what- those guys who were used more under O’s regime, will most likely still be deployed more often than they’re home. And those are the guys who’ve been deployed time and time again for nearly 10 years. Will they get to come home too? And if not, will they have to take the brunt of deployments again just to keep a presence in some of these dangerous and unsavory neighborhoods?
Last thing I wonder about is what some of those who’ve been over there more than they’ve been home, what do they think? I know Walter posed the question to Snake, but I don’t know if he’d had a chance to see it or if he’d left already. But it was a good question. I know it’d be a bit of a double edged sword for a lot of them. I can’t imagine that they’d not love the idea of coming home- if all of them come. But I know they wouldn’t want to leave any of their brothers back there in those places to deal with whatever circumstances while they get to be Stateside.
Like it or not, a lot of our guys who’ve been into places we can’t even imagine or know about, they are pretty much the ones holding the flow back. I know folks believe we’d be safer here with them home guarding our own country. I agree to a point, but if the dam breaks there, it will be felt here sooner or later. We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve not had more lethal attacks here than we’ve had.
Well I guess it’s a good thing I’ll never run for Commander in Chief, even if legally I could- because with my heart on my sleeve when it comes to our boys, I’d not have a clue of what to do. I just pray whatever our leaders do, they seek Godly wisdom for decisions first for a change, and not do anything out of pride, political posturing or because it sounds good.
I’ve had my say, and as much as I realize folks might take what I said wrong, or not agree, I don’t expect folks to understand all my reasoning or agree with it. I just wanted to pour it out and maybe folks will add their own thoughts and we can all hope and pray for the best for our guys, and for our friends. Whatever any of us think, we’re not the ones involved, and we’re definitely not the ones in charge, so no matter what we think, whatever happens it’s not up to us. This is just a way we can air our opinions and thoughts as we think about our deployed today and every day.
After all, that’s what we have RED Fridays here for. To remember everyone deployed- and we wear RED until they are all home. If they are going to come home, may it be that they can all come home.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to live in this country. With all of our national sins, faults and past and present mistakes, there is still no other nation I’d prefer to live in. And thank You Lord for all of those who have and still give up so much time to be away from home, to keep us safe and help others learn to protect themselves as well. Please bless them and keep them all safe.
Have a safe, RED and Blessed Friday all. And thank you for putting up with my out loud thoughts from time to time.