Education prepares one to capitalize on Experience, but there is no substitute for Experience.
In the Military, We constantly trained for a job we as a Nation and as Soldiers hoped would never be needed. We have the best trained and best equipped Military in the world. Having worked with troops of other Nations, I can tell you that we have the best Military in the World, with only our allies able to challenge that ranking. There is only one force in the World that can defeat Our Military: The US Congress.
Our Volunteer force is a key part of that. Our Military is Professional and upholds the Law of Land Warfare. We have taken Honor in Uniform to the highest of levels.
When I joined the Army, there were few Viet Nam Veterans left in it and they garnered great respect. We hoped that we could learn from their experience. A few years later, we gained some of that experience in Desert Storm. And by the time we went to Afghanistan, there were few Desert Storm Veterans still in. Today, most of Our Military has experience in warfare.
Our Generals have trained for decades and are experienced in leading men on the battlefield. No amount of intelligence nor learning can substitute for that experience and training. It doesn't matter if one is a genius and graduated the top of his Harvard Law Class if he is not the General on The Ground, he has no business dictating the tactics of the mountains of Afghanistan.
The mean streets of Washington are distant from those of Baghdad and Bagram. The air-conditioned offices of DC do not substitute for the realities of Kandahar, Kabul, and the Hindu Kush.
Politicians are NOT Generals and nothing in Washington can substitute for the knowledge of the battlefield Our Generals experience. Our Politicians have committed us to war. They owe Our Generals and Our Troops the full support to Succeed in what they have asked of Our Military.
When a Veteran becomes a Politician, he brings many experiences to Washington, but the most important is the knowledge that he is not a General. The Battlefield Commander must be afforded the tools, the people, and the equipment to get the job done.
A Combat Veteran understands what he is asking of Our Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers, Sons, & Daughters. A Combat Veteran has risked all and sacrificed much in keeping this Nation Free. When he weighs the question of asking the same of the next generation, he does so with the knowledge of how much is being asked and against the threat that is posed. But once committed, he understands the Nation and Our Politicians must be behind Our Troops and provide them the tools to succeed.
When you ask our troops their thoughts on the War, one of the loudest complaints is that the News is not telling the whole story. The News does not tell of Our Successes. The News does not tell of Our Generosity. The News does not tell of Our Honor.
This has led to a false perception that things are worse than they are. It has allowed for our politicians to use Our Troops for political gain. They have used the sympathies of the American People to undermine the very thing they claim to be supporting. The politicians of California and New York have held hostage the Defense Budget for political gain. And lock step with them, have been the party adherents who have become their followers, not our leaders.
What we see in Washington today is akin to a Freshman Art student telling our seasoned Farmers to plant their seeds in January because we need to send vegetables to the stores in March, while at the same time dictating the type of equipment to be used, because they read an article in Outdoor Living.