It has been a military tradition that the losing commander always dies with, or for, his failure. In ancient times, defeated generals would commit suicide, with the most famous of them being the Samurai's Seppuku. In modern times, they often pay with their careers and futures...
Well, at least until they get a book deal.
Even in our modern military tradition we still hold on to things like, "The captain always goes down the ship."
The sacrifice of life for honor is still venerated in our society today when it comes to the military, even if we do not engage in barbarism anymore.
Yet, unlike generals of the past, our modern military commanders face almost constant meddling from the White House and Congress. In Rome, a general did what it took to win, or lose, and then only after the entirety of the war was complete was he able to be held accountable by the Roman Senate or the Emperor. Today, however, our instant communication with the White House war room has placed such a terrible burden on these military leaders that it is almost unfair to say that they are in control of almost anything.
Win, and the White House takes credit, they made the call. Lose, and you get all of the blame because you were the one who recommended it.
Talk about a no win situation.
So let me ask you this, if we still venerate generals removing themselves when they fail, should we not also venerate the Commander In Chief doing the same after his failure?
No we will not, because he is a civilian when he wants to be and a military decision maker when he can use it to his political advantage.
Yet that is not really the worst of it.
From this meddling, we get idiotic ideas like: "You can have a small army when you are not at war and then raise one to fight when needed."
That has not worked since the middle ages, and it takes over 15 years to create a Platoon Sergeant. You cannot raise one overnight, and you cannot promote from a tiny professional force and then add untrained and non-tested troops when needed. This kind of thinking is what cost us far too many lives in WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and Korea. All four wars have one thing in common. They all had DRASTIC troop cuts after each one of them and it left us unprepared for the next conflict.
We should learn from history, but it seems we never will.
"We should not have bases in the rest of the world, we need to protect ourselves."
Of all of the shortsighted civilian things said, this is the one that gets my blood boiling fastest. This entire idea pre-supposes that we have no choice in the battlefield. Here is the thing, if your enemy wants to strike you, particularly in the era of asymmetric warfare, wherever your defenses are, that is where they will strike.
The biggest reason why we have not endured a major terrorist attack since 9-11 is the fact that we have engaged with the enemy in their country. By pulling all of our defenses back to the homeland, we are creating targets here, or at least are allowing for them to target us here, because they are not trying to drive us out of there.
Large unassailable bases with massive numbers of troops, like we had in Japan or Germany, is the only way to keep the homeland safe in the long term. How long until a rebirthed Al-Qaida (yep, they're back), ISIS-K, or the Taliban use their new haven to plan, support, and execute terrorist attacks here on American soil?
The answer will not be known until it is too late, and by then, we will be paying the price with American civilian blood, and lots of it.
"We do not need to answer aggression with aggression. We can just talk it out."
Well, this is great, as long as the enemy shares your values and desires peace. Yet what if they do not? What if the only thing that matters to them is winning? What if the only thing that matters to them is killing as many of you as they can? We, as Americans, have a horrific habit of projecting our values onto others and then being shocked when they do not share them.
What civilians do not get is that you cannot get them to "live and let live." Our entire way of life is EVIL in their eyes, and unless we want to submit to Sharia and become Islamic, they will continue their assault. They will not be satisfied with having their own country that is living their own way like we do, or the rest of the Western world does. These extremists will keep coming, in never ending waves to make you change into what THEY want you to be.
The only thing they respect and listen to are force and power. When you cease to project those, you become a target again. That is how you end up with 9-11 style attacks.
But again, we never learn from history.
So these military leaders will fall on their swords for Biden's choices. Oh, they might do it quietly, changes made with minimal media coverage per a White House request (it's happened far more often than you think). It might even be a retirement or two where the leader says, "I am just tired of all of the fighting and need to rest."
It is a true statement, but they are likely tired of fighting against those who do not want to listen to their advice, and not the enemy.
However, these military leaders should not be the ones falling on their sword as a cover for White House appointees or Presidents. They are not the ones who gave the green light or directed what plans they wanted to see drawn up, the politicians did.
Our military would be far better off if the politicians just let them do their job.
In today's world, it is the politicians in need of Seppuku, not the Generals carrying out their orders.