Today's Reading Assignment
National Review's Steve Schippert, on the Obama's Administration's assault on the American warrior class. As he reminds us, the White House decision to release terrorist interrogation photos is merely the latest outrage aimed that those who wear the uniform:
The assault is relentless. It is enraging. And today, the Obama administration's assault on those who dare to defend America from terrorist thugs who rejoice in publicizing beheadings, mass murder, and pure evil are on notice: "You will be punished. We're coming after you."
The target audience now includes the American Warrior. The Obama administration has abdicated the Warrior's defense, refusing to appeal the 2nd Circuit's decision that more photos should be released from investigations of the detention of enemy fighters from the battlefield. The Obama administration has sided with the ACLU and abandoned our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. This cannot stand.
Today, the very legacy of the American Warrior is directly under assault as part of that same process.
The Obama administration agreed late Thursday to release dozens of photographs depicting alleged abuse by U.S. personnel during the Bush administration of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At least 44 pictures will be released by May 28, making public for the first time images of what the military investigated at facilities other than the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Defense Department officials would not say exactly what is contained in the photos but said they are concerned the release could incite a Mideast backlash.
Mr. Schippert observes--correctly--that Mr. Obama and his national security team ought to be worried about a backlash within the ranks. By slashing the budget for new hardware, refusing to send the requested number of troops to Afghanistan and apologizing for U.S. actions around the globe, President Obama is providing powerful disincentives for remaining in the military.
Maybe the commander-in-chief (and his secretary of defense) figure that a bad economy will keep troops in uniform. But lest we forget, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines voted with their feet during the Carter years, despite high unemployment and double-digit inflation. If Mr. Obama continues on his present course, the services will--once again--face plummeting re-enlistment rates.
Here's a statistic worth remembering. Almost 20% of military personnel recently surveyed by the Military Times papers said they would consider getting out if President Obama overturns the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays in the military.
While that change has not been announced (yet), it could be the proverbial straw that breaks the back of re-enlistment totals. Even in a recession, highly-trained service members are not without options, and more may return to civilian life, declining to serve under a commander-in-chief who won't stand up for them.
Labels: Barack Obama; U.S. military