War on Terror and your views about the military




 
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Boots
 
June 22nd, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
 
 

Topic: War on Terror and your views about the military


I have read a rash of articles saying how people are not joining the military for a variety of reasons. The War on terror seems to be the one common arguement for most of the anti war views. Officers are getting out rather than staying in to try their luck on the civilian side of things. Recruiting is down across the board. Even the Marines, who in the past have had few problems recruiting, are seeing recruting shortages of their own.

With all this going on, I am curious as to if the War on Terror has changed your view on the military. If it has, please state what views have changed and why.

SGT Doody
June 22nd, 2005  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: Re: War on Terror and your views about the military


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doody
I have read a rash of articles saying how people are not joining the military for a variety of reasons. The War on terror seems to be the one common arguement for most of the anti war views. Officers are getting out rather than staying in to try their luck on the civilian side of things. Recruiting is down across the board. Even the Marines, who in the past have had few problems recruiting, are seeing recruting shortages of their own.

With all this going on, I am curious as to if the War on Terror has changed your view on the military. If it has, please state what views have changed and why.

SGT Doody
I dont necessarily agree that the war on terror has created an anti-war view at all I think the invasion of Iraq has done that and I really dont believe that many people believe Iraq was a justifiable action unlike Afghanistan.

When you add this belief to the reported incidents of torture, the graphical images of a soldier shooting a wounded fighter and the extended levels of service in what is a very ugly combat zone I dont believe people see the military an attractive career right now.

Essentially it boils down to people not wanting to risk their lives for a cause they dont see as justifiable, had the war on terror remained focused on Bin Laden and his cohorts I think you woud be seeing a very different pattern.
June 22nd, 2005  
FuturePilot13
 
 
I got to agree with MontyB on this one, the military isn't an attractive profesion right now due to the invasion of Iraq. But on the other hand I, a kid of 13 who pays alot of attention to polotics and the millitary, haven't even reconsidered my future career of a usaf pilot and i feel alot of people my age and older then me have the same feelings. I just think that because this war is very contriversal, people wont join until we start withdrawing troops or the problems of prisoner treatment stop or people relize that the negitize actions are being pushed much more by the press then the positive ones are
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Boots
June 22nd, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
My views on the military changed long ago for very personal reasons but I have noticed the same line of thinking in others recently. I don't think it is the war on terror per se but we are starting to see a repeat of what happened with Vietnam on the US domestic scene. When soldiers see the horror of combat up close they can deal with it primarily in one of two ways by dehumanizing the enemy or they shut down and take stock of just wtf is going on. The same thing happens to a society at large when segments of its population start coming home mangled and dead, the TV is bringing it home as it did in Vietnam. IMHO. Some people are dehumanizing the enemy as seen on this forum in the rabid defense primarily by Americans in regards to Gitmo and other charged issues. Others are shutting down and reassessing just what is happening and what they should do about it and many are saying "No, this is wrong and I will not fight."

The question I think is key that is coming to bear is "Why".
June 22nd, 2005  
DTop
 
 
I think that despite the media and some foreigners' misconceptions, the American military enjoys a great deal of support here at home. The situation now is hardly what is was during the conflict in Vietnam. I don't see signs of the massive manipulation of the American public as happened in the 60s. It's just not happening (well except for Hollywood and the insulated ivory towers of academia).
Yes, it's true that the media is reluctant to show positive things relating to the military. This is something that hasn't changed since Vietnam though. Having been a soldier in Vietnam and in the Gulf War and having a son in Iraq, I know that the media is only happy when things are going well. When war gets dirty, as it always does, the same old "let's get out of there" mentality seems to grip the media and the same old anti-military, anti-government rhetoric takes over the headlines. As it was then, it is now. We need continued support and resolution to see this through to a proper end.
Our freedom to say whatever we want and to shout it from the rooftops if we so desire is often misinterpreted by those outside our country as divisiveness or lack of resolve.
My view of our military hasn't changed much. It's not perfect and can always get better. I do know that there are many other countries that can only hope to have a military that approaches the quality of ours. I believe it is the finest in the world and will continue to be so, the war on terror notwithstanding. It certainly has my fullest support.
I think that during any post WWII conflict and when the economy is going well, we have and will continue to see a drop in enlistment and retention. I have seen the pendulum swing both ways over the years.
June 22nd, 2005  
CABAL
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTop
I think that despite the media and some foreigners' misconceptions, the American military enjoys a great deal of support here at home. The situation now is hardly what is was during the conflict in Vietnam. I don't see signs of the massive manipulation of the American public as happened in the 60s. It's just not happening (well except for Hollywood and the insulated ivory towers of academia).
Yes, it's true that the media is reluctant to show positive things relating to the military. This is something that hasn't changed since Vietnam though. Having been a soldier in Vietnam and in the Gulf War and having a son in Iraq, I know that the media is only happy when things are going well. When war gets dirty, as it always does, the same old "let's get out of there" mentality seems to grip the media and the same old anti-military, anti-government rhetoric takes over the headlines. As it was then, it is now. We need continued support and resolution to see this through to a proper end.
Our freedom to say whatever we want and to shout it from the rooftops if we so desire is often misinterpreted by those outside our country as divisiveness or lack of resolve.
My view of our military hasn't changed much. It's not perfect and can always get better. I do know that there are many other countries that can only hope to have a military that approaches the quality of ours. I believe it is the finest in the world and will continue to be so, the war on terror notwithstanding. It certainly has my fullest support.
I think that during any post WWII conflict and when the economy is going well, we have and will continue to see a drop in enlistment and retention. I have seen the pendulum swing both ways over the years.
Yes you are correct that many Americans support their military, although their patience of stationing American troops in Iraq is beginning to wear out, fearing that it would create another "Vietnam" type scenario.

It have been almost 2 years and Washington still have not come with a solid "withdrawal" strategy.
June 22nd, 2005  
DTop
 
 
I beg to differ. I think indications are that the pols will muster up a withdrawal plan soon. Consider this from the Sec. of Defense.
Quote:
Americans needed to understand Iraq does not need an army of hundreds of thousands, "because it isn't facing an enemy like that. What they face is an insurgency and they need to be able to run counter-insurgency operations. Once they can do that, we can begin to start a withdrawal process."
http://www.smh.com.au/handheld/artic...250928593.html


What those who oppose a withdrawal plan say is that it will only encourage the insurgents to increase their attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces. I think they have a valid point.

BTW, a plan for withdrawal has already been rejected by the House of Representatives at the end of last month.
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=11173
June 22nd, 2005  
CABAL
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTop
I beg to differ. I think indications are that the pols will muster up a withdrawal plan soon. Consider this from the Sec. of Defense.
Quote:
Americans needed to understand Iraq does not need an army of hundreds of thousands, "because it isn't facing an enemy like that. What they face is an insurgency and they need to be able to run counter-insurgency operations. Once they can do that, we can begin to start a withdrawal process."
http://www.smh.com.au/handheld/artic...250928593.html


What those who oppose a withdrawal plan say is that it will only encourage the insurgents to increase their attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces. I think they have a valid point.

BTW, a plan for withdrawal has already been rejected by the House of Representatives at the end of last month.
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=11173
I certainly agree with the Secretary of Defense on this though growing number of Americans still call for immediate withdrawal.

Quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday dismissed calls for setting a date to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq as a new poll showed a growing number of Americans believe the United States should pull those troops out.
http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jh...toryID=8785740
June 22nd, 2005  
FuturePilot13
 
 
i think that having a withdrawal plan even if it is still subject to big changes will help many people feel better knowing that there is a way of getting our troops out of there when the time calls or it might put the idea in peoples mind that the goverment is seriously thinking about getting our troops out of there soon. i think that might stop some of the critics from putting negitive ideas in peoples heads about the military and the war for a while at least.
June 22nd, 2005  
The Other Guy
 
 
makes me wonder...