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  • 10Till the Very EndAndrew HardmanCIS 1020-121<br />33147001248410 “War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” CITATION Mic09 l 1033 (Shara)PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT="PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=I Like this quote"PRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=I dislike this quote" In an era of political correctness, diplomacy, United Nation counsels, Geneva Convention, presence patrols, and peacekeeping missions, today’s soldiers are forced to fight with one hand tied behind their back on a daily basis. Though General Sherman’s statement, made over 150 years ago, is horrifyingly true; it would have no place in today’s political metropolis, for surely someone uttering those words would be committing political suicide. General Sherman’s powerful leadership, combined with his hard nose tactics, helped assist General Grant in leading the North to victory. A victory that came in one of America’s bleakest, darkest, times; a time in which brother fought against brother, father against son. No war has ever produced the kind of casualties based on population versus total death numbers, as did the civil war. General Sherman saw the work of death sweep across the nation while he was in command. He got a first hand view of what war is really like. “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” CITATION Son03 l 1033 (South) This experience fueled a desire to win at all costs, to gain the victory that would be the only way the nation could ever repay those who had sacrificed their all. <br />Common Desires<br /> Sherman’s desire to win at all cost was a unique characteristic, a characteristic shared by many others from America’s hall of heroes. The founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln, General Eisenhower, all had this raging desire to victoriously succeed. General Patton, America’s most vocal military leader during World War II undoubtedly carried this same burning desire within. “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” He than later said “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.” (Trombley)<br />This desire to win, to succeed, to dig deep, is not so clearly evident in our current leader President Obama. On January 20, 2009, America watched its 44th Commander in Chief swear in, promising to protect, and defend the citizens at all costs. Now that he has been in office a little over 50 days, America is starting to see what direction he is trying to steer the country. Being at a huge disadvantage already with no prior military service, experience, or leadership, President Obama has had great difficulty in assuming in such a daunting task. His lack of experience is evident by his newly released plans on conducting the War in Iraq and Afghanistan.<br />Strategic Plan<br />President Obama’s latest strategic plan for Afghanistan comes not with an increase of troops or more strategic special operations; nor does it bring an increase of bombing missions in the mountainous regions in which the Tailban are operating out of. Rather his new approach is peacefully “reaching out to people we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists.” Simply put, our Commander in Chief wants to sit down and have peaceful negotiations with the organization that helped fund, coordinate, and carry out suicide attacks on our own beloved soil on September 11, 2001. <br />CNN Interviews<br />The extreme mindset carried by our enemies is unlike anything we possess as Americans. Many of the extremists our troops encounter each would just assume kill themselves if it meant killing save one American. Their values on life, God, and what is required to sacrifice are vastly different. Negotiating and peacefully discussing options with them will not work. Especially when President Obama already admitted to CNN that we were not winning the current war in Afghanistan<br />Gary Berntsen, a former CIA officer, remarked on “American Morning,” –“If you keep saying the Taliban are winning, what incentive is there now for individuals who are fighting against us to come over to us?” Gary makes a valid point in basic negotiation skills that remind us the person who is currently winning always has the upper hand. <br />President Obama’s weak and simple answer of “No” in the CNN interview shows a disturbing trend that America, to include its new President, is slipping into a softer, feebler condition. We have gained a lot of ground through direct military action in both Afghanistan and Iraq. To switch tactics and revert to a diplomatic means in a hostile area with a hostile enemy surely will lead to disaster.<br />We tried diplomacy in the beginning. President George W. Bush began first with the United Nations and than furthered his diplomacy to top Iraqi officials. All they had to do was cooperate with UN inspectors. Saddam Huessein did not cooperate, just as the Taliban did not cooperate with diplomacy two years prior in Afghanistan. This failed tactic of diplomacy in Afghanistan at first and later Iraq, ended up leading to direct Military involvement and war, a war with which we are still engaged today. <br />Post 9/11<br />At the beginning of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, American drive was at an all time high. Some of the effects of 9/11 are:<br />Patriotism fueled<br /> The big dog awakened<br /> We were ready to defend and regain our safety and freedom<br /> Military enlistment surged<br /> Deployments were viewed as necessary <br />Full out war was supported <br />In the years following our involvement, issues such as non-existing weapons of mass destruction, American death tolls that climb each month, a debt that grows hourly, refugees in the hundreds of thousands, continued hostility and at times little progress left the media and many citizens shouting “Bring them home.” <br />United States Intelligence<br />Our intelligence is far superior to any other nation in this world. We had intelligence reports showing that there were weapons of mass destruction. In Saddam’s Secrets, a book written by Saddam’s top Airforce general, General Georges Sada, testimony is given to the truth that there were weapons of mass destruction. General Sada, who is now currently working with American forces to progress the work in Iraq, as gave statements to our top officials reinforcing our own intel that Saddam did have WMD’s. Sada said through regularly scheduled airline flights as well as in semi trucks sent to give disaster relief aid to Syria, the WMD’s were able to safely and discretely make it out of Iraq before the United States arrived. General Sada continued to give a horrifying account of Saddam’s ruthlessness, detailing dozens of executions to include a mass execution of 3,000 Kurdish people in the early 1990’s. Let it be clear, our direct military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has made the world a much better place, especially here in America. Since we have taken the war to the Al Queda, to the Taliban, and to men like Sadam Hussein who funded and supported terrorists, the United States has not suffered one single terrorist attack on its own soil. This fact alone, is enough reason to continue the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.<br />Unfortunate statistics<br /> Those who say we should withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan often throw out death toll numbers. As of today, March 11, 2009:<br />Country# of CasualtiesTotalAfghanistan662662Iraq4,2574,919<br />Each life taken and given in the combat zone is a very real and very difficult thing. Having deployed to Iraq personally, I know that first hand. Despite 4,919 being a tragic loss, for even one soldier killed is terrible thing to bear, 4,919 is also a miracle. General Patton said it like this. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” In 2008, I received a military brief stating that we have killed or captured an estimated 50,000 known terrorist, insurgents, and supporters in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is an incredible ratio of 10 to 1. For every one-service member killed, statistically we have killed or captured 10 of our enemies. Just imagine if wars in the past had ratios like that. To put our total death count in perspective, over 5,000 service members were killed on D Day just on Omaha beach alone, Omaha being only one of six beaches invaded. God truly has blessed us with tremendous success. Our loss total in 8 years of fighting hasn’t reached what it was in one single afternoon at Normandy. <br />Enemy Victories<br />rightbottomWe have forgotten we are fighting a resilient enemy, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. An enemy that has been around long before we arrived in their homeland, and if we pull out and leave, will be there long after we depart. Our enemies have had victories against countries like Iran, the Soviet Union, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and India in addition to hundreds of successful terrorist attacks against freedom supporting countries all around the world including England, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia and the United States. We have forgotten that against enemies like these, complacency will kill. On September 10, 2001, almost any American asked would have responded affirmatively to the question of feeling safe and protected. That next day over 3,000 lives were claimed in a four-hour period, America’s worst terrorist attack yet sustained. <br />How Are The Plans?<br />According to Obama there are plans to begin withdrawing troops this summer from Iraq, shifting some over to Afghanistan. Current levels show 145,000 troops are in Iraq right now, with another half a million contractors. President Obama’s current plan has a full withdraw complete in 16 months. This plan will not work. If we fully withdraw prematurely, it will all be for nothing. In America’s history, only one major war resulted in a full 100 hundred percent withdraw from the country following the close of the war. That one case was Vietnam; the only tick posted in the loss column of America’s history books. Vietnam today is a struggling country, still plagued by communism, still dominated by poverty, destruction, and poor living conditions. Compare that with Germany, or Japan, our two greatest enemies during World War II, now which are world leaders economically, politically, as well as militarily. We saw World War II till the very end, we helped rebuild those countries, and now they are thriving to such a degree that they have even become some of our greatest competition. <br />Military Housing<br />Excluding Vietnam, every country we have ever been apart of militarily, we still have troops there today. Listed below are countries who provide homes for American bases and America’s armed forces:<br />EnglandFranceGermanyItalyJapanKoreaIraq/AfghanistanBosniaIndonesiaPhilippinesEgyptSaudia ArabiaKuwaitEthiopia<br />Most of those countries on that list are stable and secure. Why? Because we saw it through till the very end, and than helped rebuild the countries once that end had been reached. <br />Stay or Go<br />To abandon and withdraw our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan is like a mother abandoning a child. Once the mother is gone, the child will be open and vulnerable to anyone who desires to take control of that child. And as that child grows older, he will grow to hate and despise the mother that abandoned him. Our withdrawal from Iraq, and eventually Afghanistan, will lead to mass sectarian civil war, a collapse of what little government we have established, and thousands more contractors and service members killed in the process of exiting. Tens of thousands of local civilian lives will be lost as violence spreads, and that entire region of the world will implode in conflict as neighboring nations will try to enter Iraq and Afghanistan and take over where America left off. <br />If we begin to leave now, and choose not to fight throw the growing pains that come with young governments and militaries, we will assuredly regret it years down the road. Just as in the first gulf war, that generation left a greater work to be done because they quit the job early. Likewise, it will be my children and your children who will have to deploy to Iraq a third time 15 years from now. And that third go around will offer up violence and death in which the first and second attempts will be miniscule in comparison. If we leave now, the 4,257 lives lost in Iraq will have all been for not. <br />But if we choose to take the higher road, as a nation, as a people, and have the determination that Washington, Lincoln, and Sherman had, we will ride through this stormy decade, emerging into sunshine in the years to come. Iraq and Afghanistan will eventually become more stable, their governments more secure, the economy much stronger, and there militaries will be superior to any neighboring country in that region of the world. <br />An overview of when and which presidents have dealt with wars during their terms:<br />WashingtonRevolutionary War1775<br />PolkMexican War1846<br />LincolnCivil War1861<br />WilsonWWI1914<br />RooseveltWWII1939<br />TrumanKorean War1950<br />JohnsonVietnam War1954<br />BushPersian Gulf1990<br />ClintonPersian Gulf1999<br />W. BushAfghan/Iraqi War2001<br /> If we choose to have the patience and commitment that we have showed nations of the past, we too will be able create two great nations and allies. Both Iraq and Afghanistan will benefit and be greatly blessed for our decision to stay and stick with them until the very end. This decision allows us to share the gift of freedom, the God granted right to agency and the ability to choose. This decision will break once and for all the chains of oppression these nations have suffered though, brought about by decades of instability. This decision to stay till the very end is our opportunity, our responsibility, and our great blessing to simply let freedom ring. <br />Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY Shara, Michael. Killer Angels. London: Random House Publishing, 2009.South, Son of the. Portrait of General William T. Sherman. 2003. 6 11 2010 <http://www.sonofthesouth.net/union-generals/sherman/pictures/william-sherman-portrait.htm>.Trombley, Ian. The War. Baltimore: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2005.<br />