The Butcher and I were watching CNN yesterday and they were talking about whether the Army is irredeemably broken. Today I read in USA today that the Army faces a severe shortage of officers that is bound to continue into the next decade.
This seems to me to be one of the most dangerous fall-outs from Bush’s failed policy. I know it’s easy enough to tease conservatives under 40 who support the war for not going out and actually, you know, participating in the war, but I think that beyond it being funny, it actually illustrates a dangerous problem that, and I’d wager, future administrations have: fewer and fewer people trust our government enough to turn their lives over to it.
Regardless of how you feel about this war or about military spending, we do need a standing army capable of going to war. Right now, we don’t have that.
I think the reasons why are pretty complex, but becoming more apparent as time goes by. We do a poor job of planning for our troops in the field and giving them operations that can actually be carried out with some measure of success. We don’t take care of them once they return home and, when they leave the armed forces, it’s even worse.
I don’t have a solution for this.
I was on the plane yesterday with a guy who was wearing a POW/MIA shirt.
I don’t know. I wasn’t around before Viet Nam, but it seems to me that what we haven’t, as a country, gotten over is this idea that we (America) will leave you (troops) behind. It seems to me that, if there’s one lesson we refuse to learn from Viet Nam, it’s that–the immorality of leaving folks behind.
And I’m sorry, but not providing our service people with adequate health care or counseling or whatever it is they need once they get home, that is leaving them behind.
POW may not be exactly the right term for it, but damn, every time I see that black & white logo, it feels to me like an indictment larger than just its literal meaning.
It’s no wonder it becomes harder and harder to find folks willing to do for us the things we won’t do only to have us turn our backs on them when they’re done.