Friday, February 20, 2009

The Real Heroes

Cross posted at The Next Right

photos: World War II shelling of cities

A key issue for the nation is how to win wars and military conflicts.

My uncle, a medic in World War II, was talking about real military heroes. His view is that the US military of today has an immensely harder task than World War II troops did. Today's troops are true heroes.

The US and its allies probably would have lost World War II if we had been operating under the current climate of criticism. For example, in World War II cities were shelled irrespective of civilians--sometimes to intimidate civilians and allow free passage of troops and produce complete compliance with military orders. The purpose was to win the engagement--not to keep casualties and damage minimal. And, of course, the press was supportive rather than critical of the war effort and the troops.

The military men and women of today are required to shoulder not only the danger of military combat with those trying to kill them, but they have to do so under the glaring eye of a hostile press and politicians who care about their own political careers more than victory. Only heroes fight under that kind of crushing load. Only great military commanders, like General David Petraeus, can pull together a winning strategy against such a stacked deck.

Victor Davis Hanson gives a military historian's insight here and here.

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