I am writing this article with very mixed emotions. There are and have been a number of people in my family who serve or have served in the military. In my study of history and listening to stories of veterans going back to World War II, I have learned that many things have changed about the way America fights wars. Not all of these changes are good. It is with that in mind that I write this article.
The source of this article is a Wall Street Journal article from September 16. I am not linking to the article because it is a subscribers only article. I am working from the hard copy (some of us still do read real newspapers!).
On September 15, President Obama presented Sgt. Dakota Meyer with the Medal of Honor. Sgt. Meyer, a Marine, was given the medal for his actions on September 8, 2009. He disobeyed an order to stand firm and went to rescue members of his patrol. In doing this, he saved the lives of 13 Marines and 23 Afghan soldiers.
There are a few aspects of this article that bother me. The article states:
Despite the large Taliban force, U. S. artillery support was denied and helicopter support was late in arriving, as commanders worried they might violate a tactical directive to limit the use of air power when civilians could be injured or killed.
Are the people in charge of our troops so stupid that they believe the Taliban is not aware of this tactical directive and purposely attacks in areas where they know we will not use air power? Would the people in charge of our troops like to meet face to face with the parents and spouses of the people who have been killed as a result of this policy? Diplomacy and war are two separate things–would someone please tell Washington that.
The article further reports:
As the fighting rages, he (Sgt. Meyer) and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez were ordered to remain with a Humvee outside the battle zone.
“We requested a few times and were denied to come in,” Sgt. Meyer said in a statement released by the Marine Corps. “Finally, we knew what we needed to do and decided we were going to go on in on our own.”
Thank God for the courage of those two men. I am sorry that our military leadership would rather sacrifice our soldiers in the name of public relations than actually win the war.