Tonight, President Obama will address the nation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He plans to talk about sending 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, how he can bring the nation and the allies together with this decision, and his outlook for the future. The American public is eagerly awaiting this speech and hoping that many questions can truly be addressed and answered.
The President has been busy this week garnering support for his decision and getting his ducks in a row to prepare. He sent national security adviser James Jones to Pakistan with a pledge of support and cooperation. He has spent two days deeply briefing his Cabinet officers and his top military commanders. He has had numerous phone conversations with the president of France, the British prime minister, the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan and other key allies concerning the move he is planning to make against Afghanistan.
I must admit that I feel the way a vast majority of Americans are beginning to feel about these ongoing military efforts to fight terrorism. I wonder if we are truly doing any good. I am concerned with the loss of life that we are suffering and I’m not even sure what the true cause behind all of it is. Perhaps we are stepping in where we simply do not belong any longer. Maybe our troops and financial resources would be better spent to increase security for this nation and on our own home soil. I fear that we are facing what will ultimately become another Vietnam. I wonder if this country can handle the financial stress that this is going to place on an already suffering economy.
My father was a career Navy man who proudly served in World War II and Korea. Growing up we were instilled with a deep sense of pride in this country and patriotism ran deep. We believed that we supported the decision of our President and always supported the troops through all hardships. During my life I have been honored to know many who have served this country. I have personal friends who are career military and I also have a step father who recently served in Iraq. All of this has played heavily with my feelings of what this nation is currently going through.
Lately even the career military friends that I have are showing disillusionment with the decisions being made in Washington and with the military in general. Everyone is beginning to wonder what we are even doing and what the objective of everything truly is. Perhaps if we had actually captured or killed Bin Laden during the first Afghanistan invasion but now that all seems like a dim memory in the political minds. From Bin Laden the focus shifted to Saddam Hussein and from there it is going back to more fighting and dying in Afghanistan.
The American people are confused about why we are truly even in Afghanistan. Why do we care about Pakistan? We are going to loose valuable young American lives and the reasons behind this loss seem cloudy and completely unclear to the public in general. This is fostering a feeling of resentment towards the governments decision and a vast majority of Americans feel we are simply sticking our noses in where it does not belong. We fear another Vietnam and the high cost of young American lives that will end needlessly.
I know that the president will play heavily on the need to occupy both Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent the Pakistan nuclear weapons from falling into terrorist hands. The problem that I see is how many countries do we plan on occupying, fighting, and trying to control to prevent terrorists from gaining these weapons of mass destruction? As time goes on more and more countries gain or are on the cusp of having nuclear capabilities. Look at Iran or North Korea. Are we going to occupy the entire world to prevent this? Is it even preventable with th the route that the politicians are taking of using military force?
I wish that Obama would give a definitive exit plan in tonight’s speech but I don’t see that happening. I think there are no real exit plans and the troops will continue to increase in Afghanistan until we find yet another country to pull troops into. Ultimately, we are faced with constant war in the future for our young troops and there is no end in sight. It makes we wonder how many young men and women will continue to opt to join a battle that will never be won. Will the lack of enlisting youth cause the draft to become a reality again and Vietnam to be reborn. I personally know two people who have dedicated their lives to this country in the Armed Forces but now they are not going to continue. When their time is up they are done because of the disillusionment that so strongly exists now among so many fine troops.
I’m anxiously awaiting President Obamas speech but I somehow think it will leave many questions unanswered and it will build even more concerns for the American people.