Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, Human Events
When presidential candidate Barack Obama proudly announced in the fall of 2007 that, if elected, he was going to “fundamentally change the United States of America” it was a warning shot across the bow of the U.S. military, its culture, and the men and women who bravely serve every day.
More to the point, while our armed forces take fire from enemies in the sands and mountains of the Middle East, they are also taking fire from a much more lethal source: their commander-in-chief. Yes, America’s military is at war with radical Islamists around the world and, more problematic, with their President at home.
Barack Obama’s war with the U.S. military is one with several fronts: social engineering of the military culture at the expense of readiness and capability; dictating the rules of engagement (ROE) that hinder our troops’ ability to fight an enemy that doesn’t wear traditional military uniforms and hides behind women’s burqas while operating from schools and mosques; and, slashing the necessary funding for force modernization and sustainability. And finally, morale—successful military operations always come down to morale.
Former President and World War II hero Dwight D. Eisenhower once said “Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.” It’s also a concept that Barack Obama seems incapable of grasping.
It is hauntingly familiar to those of us who served in uniform during the 1990s, and, I would imagine, also familiar for those who served in the armed forces during the 1970s under the feeble leadership of President Jimmy Carter as well. My personal experience comes from having served for the pro-military, principled leadership of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush during the 1980s and the experience of serving on the front lines, and then at the side during the 1990s, of a man with no character or principles, Bill Clinton.
Only three days into his infant presidency, in 1993, Clinton announced that he was going to lift the 50-year ban on homosexuals in the military. The original policy had been developed out of necessity during World War II and was reaffirmed by Congress in 1982 when it declared that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service because it undermines discipline, good order and morale.”