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The ‘Rift’ Cannot Be Good for Military Morale

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In any organization, a “little rift” is a good thing.  I love frank exchanges and disagreements.  However, there are “rifts” and there are “rifts,” and this one cannot be good for soldier morale, or the ones who will go “in harm’s way.”

According to a front-page story in The Washington Post, there is disagreement between President Obama and military officers:

Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and U.S. military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship.  
Even as the administration has received congressional backing for its strategy, with the Senate voting Thursday to approve a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a series of military leaders have criticized the president’s approach against the Islamic State militant group.  
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served under Obama until last year, became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat wastying the military’s hands. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” he said. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”  
Mattis’s comments came two days after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the rare step of publicly suggesting that a policy already set by the commander in chief could be reconsidered.   Despite Obama’s promise that he would not deploy ground combat forces, Dempsey made clear that he didn’t want to rule out the possibility, if only to deploy small teams in limited circumstances. He also acknowledged that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander for the Middle East, had already recommended doing so in the case of at least one battle in Iraq but was overruled.

Once again, we see “hope and change” crashing with reality.

President Obama is making huge mistakes – perhaps rookie mistakes for a man in the sixth year of his presidency.

First, he is putting himself in a corner and will end up upsetting his supporters.  Doesn’t he remember the Syria “red line”?  President Obama looks weak when he continues to play word games with “boots on the ground.”  I guess that the next statement from the White House is that it depends what the definition of “ground” is!

Second, he is saying too much about what the U.S. won’t do to fight ISIS.  Stop talking that way.  State the objective of the mission, and let the military carry it out.

Last, but not least, our youngest son is in the U.S. Army.  I’m not happy to hear that there is this much confusion between the commander in chief and military leaders. 

I think that most of us want to see our leaders on the same page, especially when there is something as serious as ISIS!

P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

Written by scantojr

September 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

Posted in Iraq

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