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Military Opinions
by Ron Lowrance
, Retired Major, U.S. Army Infantry
30 March 2003

Based on these three key factors, our ability to reliably critique those who are prosecuting the war is extremely difficult, if not impossible.


The television, radio, newspapers, and magazines recently have been filled with military veterans who have views of how the War with Iraq should be prosecuted. All, I believe, are well intentioned and all are patriotic Americans. But who is right? Should these well-intentioned military veterans be sharing their views on a world format? And are their public opinions and views serving the war effort positively? These and other questions should be pondered by all of us as citizens before we form our opinions.

Let’s begin our brief intellectual journey into these questions by pointing out three key factors that we as viewers of commentary should take into consideration. First, probably none of these experienced veterans have been a part of this war planning effort, or have even read the war plan. War plans at all levels are built on a flexible base with branches supported by contingencies and mitigation plans. Second, we should take into consideration that each conflict is planned differently based on the strategic goal and tactical objectives. And lastly, we should understand and recognize the will and circumstances of the people within the country we are liberating. Based on these three key factors, our ability to reliably critique those who are prosecuting the war is extremely difficult, if not impossible. So what should our position be as patriotic citizens and how can we positively participate?

Our first obligation during time of war is to exercise patience with a overlay of commonsense and reality. This war is only a few days old and by all accounts is going extremely well. Balancing the effort of liberating a people without heavy collateral damage and winning the war against the enemy combatants is extremely difficult. We should discourage our political leaders, news media representatives, and military veteran experts from delving into protracted speculation and guessing. This has the potential of being used against the United States by foreign country news media that are not backing the war. And finally, the military at all levels deserve our full positive support and not our divisive and speculating commentary.


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