Rebuttal to comments on IAVA post
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Jonathan Morgenstein sent an email to rebutt the email and comments about him from his appearance sponsored by the IAVA. He gave permission to post his entire email.
Obviously I cannot speak for IAVA, but I would like to address the comments sent to you regarding my remarks at Mercyhurst College on Monday. I am glad the emailer attended and tried to address my perspectives in a respectful manner even if he disagreed with them. The point of the exercise is to educate the broader population and get an intelligent, respectful and constructive discussion generated.
I would however, like to counter some of his critiques of my statements. I should point out that I am a ground intelligence officer by training and have studied counterinsurgency in-depth. My criticisms of our war effort were not based on a personal slight, but from sound analysis based on decades of counterinsurgency doctrine and lessons learned. I would point you to the Marine Corps's Small Wars Manual and Thomas X. Hammes's "The Sling and the Stone." The fact is, if you're not prioritizing Civil Affairs, you're not doing counterinsurgency properly and will not defeat an insurgency. That was my concern, not that I didn't get sufficient attention to my pet projects. I don't know who wrote this commentary but I do think his is a fair assessment of much of what I said, assuming he doesn't know much about counterinsurgency warfare.As far as the comment that I work for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), it happens to be a Congressionally chartered institution, established by Ronald Reagan. By law an equal number of Republicans and Democrats sit on USIP's board. So the writer of this email seems to have a reflex prejudice against anything with the word "peace" in its name and isn't familiar with the organization or what it does. My employment at USIP has had no impact on my belief that we were compelled and justified to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan (unfortunately we have dedicated WAY too few resources to this effort in fact). Nor did it influence my reservations about the invasion of Iraq to begin with, nor my current position (which I also stated in my speech at Mercyhurst but this emailer neglected to mention) that instead of drawing down or withdrawing, we should triple the number of troops on the ground and dedicate all the resources we need to bring true peace and stability to Iraq... I would call that not a partisan position--because neither Democrats nor Republicans support it--but a completely nonpartisan position.Thanks for listening,Jonathan
Be sure to read the comments. #13 is from Sergeant Humphrey who may shed some light on why Craig Smith isn't getting as much attention for PTSD as he believes he should.