We’re asking the impossible from our military

March 23rd, 2012 by Ken

The recent killings in Afghanistan by a soldier stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) is a real shame. If true, I don’t think there’s any good explanation for it.

But, there appears to be extenuating circumstances that only a trial will bring out. The solider was on his fourth deployment, had been injured in a previous deployment and had seen some of his friends injured as well.

That’s no excuse or reason for any actions he took, but it does point to a problem with our current military.

It’s to small to do the job it’s been charged with doing. Our total military force is about 3 million, half of whom are reservists. That leaves just a million and a half men women in our professional military.

And, we’ve been at war for more than a decade. We’ve fought a major war in Iraq and a major war in Afghanistan, along with numerous other conflicts around the world. If we’re not the world’s policeman, we’re sure acting like it.

But, the fact of the matter, is that our armed forces, with an all volunteer military, is just to small to continue to be the world’s policeman.

Soldiers at JBLM have served numerous tours of duty in the war zone. Some going four, five, six and even more deployments. It places a major burden on the troops and on the families that wait for them to return.

Our wars are being fought by less than one percent of this country’s 350 million population. Most people in this country are not impacted by the war or by the consequences of the war.

But, we here in Thurston County, feel the impact. With the second largest military base in the United States on our doorstep, our community is composed of thousands of military members and their families. What impacts them, impacts us.

And, the idea that we can fight for ten years, with volunteers, that we can send them into harms way year after year, without them suffering ill effects, is just wrong.

We either need to increase our military or decrease the need for our military.

We can’t keep asking them to do the impossible and expect that they can do it without bringing suffering to themselves, their families and our community.

Our government is going to have to make the decision soon – – more military or less international involvement.

It’s that simple.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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