WORDS: 597 —  I spent years in the military carrying a gun and defending my country as an NCO in charge of men and assets.  If anyone understands military strategy it’s me.  I waited at the phone for the call from any sitting President (or standing one either) to provide my valuable insight, and just crickets.  They could have avoided all their troubles.  If only they called me first…….


Well.. okay… I embellished just a little.  My military gun-carrying was in guarding airplanes.  In fact.. the only military asset I was in charge of was that gun while on duty… oh.. and making sure the nuke in the belly of a couple B-52’s didn’t fall into the hands of those godless Commies.  So given I missed out on War College back in the day.. I pretty much don’t know much about grand military strategies.  But I do have a little knowledge to simply “toss it out there” for observation and discussion.

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Our Afghan Friends And That Promise

When our military travels around the world, especially in hot spots, there’s no question we ask the indigenous citizens for their assistance for a variety of things.  Obviously in Afghanistan our troops have received invaluable help from Afghans being interpreters, as well as assisting with embassy duties and a myriad of other services.  In exchange, and for inducement to meet the expediency of the mission at hand, we offer a wage, support, and even training on weapons as many of our field interpreters also take part in fighting as certain situations may require an all hands on deck defensive posture.  This is when we hear the stories of interpreters saving the lives of troops in distress.  But here’s my question…

Is it prudent to include in our inducement to get local support from the citizenry to promise that if they help us we will get them to safety, to a life in America as well as their entire family?  For one thing, not sure a promise like that tends to favor optimism in mission success.  In other words, it’s like making the promise.. “Help us and if things go badly and we have to leave your country we will transport you and your family to America.”.  I might guess that the promise should be… “Help us for two years and we will then move you and your family to America.”  In that case, even if our mission is not completed an interpreter can leave on his own following the normal application process.  But what I am getting at is why make that promise at all?  Seems you would appeal to the person’s basic patriotism and/or faith in the future of their country… “We will give you a wage and support while you serve, and documents that you served should you wish to apply for entry to the U.S. on your own.”  We leave out the “get out of jail free” promise.  If we had done that in Afghanistan we’d not be in this moral dilemma of having to make do to our 20 year word given to the tune of 40,000 people spread across the countryside.  For now we are obligated.. and most certainly many military members are grateful for their lives from the help these Afghan friends gave our troops.  I’m not minimizing that.  I am simply suggesting the next time we feel obligated to invade another country we make the promise a bit different… and don’t.  After all, our people are serving out of a sense of patriotism.. in “your” country, so, why can’t they do that as well?

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