Victory: is it an option in November?
By Daniel Bell
Now that both the Democratic and Republican parties have chosen their presumptive nominees, Americans must ask, who stands for and will achieve victory in the War on Terror? With a Congress that hinders prompt funding for the war in Iraq, dragging out passing of the 2009 defense budget, the executive branch of our government is even more vital to success in the Middle East. The next president's administration will determine the future course of the War on Terror.
As a "return on success," violence has decreased dramatically since the Surge, and Iraqi government progress is allowing the nation's citizens to take an increasingly greater part in its progress. President Bush often praises such changes in Iraq, but what do most Americans believe? Some now oppose the war, demonstrating disbelief in our military's and the Iraqi people's accomplishments. Yet in forming an opinion on America's best course of action, from troop withdrawal to vehement backing of the war, voters must employ a realistic understanding of the changes in Iraq. Resources such as www.understandingwar.org enable citizens to increase their knowledge and comprehension of the War on Terror.
While even the most avid followers of war news struggle to comprehend the scope of the problems, challenges, and advancements in the Middle East, commanders and troops in Iraq are the staunchest supporters of the War on Terror. As a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, I can personally attest to our military's accomplishments in the Middle East. By capturing foreign fighters and disrupting their channels of infiltration, we demonstrated that other influences were affecting the victory that Iraq itself is working to achieve. The respectively low losses that we experienced were always met with multiple successes.
Our sacrifices cannot be overlooked for political expediency. A combat veteran's overwhelming sense of patriotism cannot be quelled by small talk of honoring veterans and their service to our country; our patriotism has been tested and played out on the foreign fields of combat. True respect and support for those who defend freedom comes in the form of recognizing when there is success and supporting the mission that so many of us volunteered to fight.
This election year, voters will consider many issues important to their households, including healthcare, immigration, taxes, and energy. Our current economic situation, already impacting many Americans, is perhaps this election's most tangible issue. Yet each voter must also consider our nation's security. Should the United States draw down troop deployment, seemingly saving tax dollars and the lives of service members? Do Americans desire unknown change or continued victory in the War on Terror? Should America continue on in stabilizing a country and building an ally, honoring the sacrifice that has taken place over the past five years?
Based on my experience and knowledge from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as evidence of our progress since, I will vote for the candidate who supports victory in the Global War on Terror this November.