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by Ron Lowrance, Retired Major, U.S. Army
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.
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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