Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Priority #9 for the Obama Administration - Repair the U.S. Military

Obama has to invest more in soldiers, families, veterans and must improve healthcare. A lot of people are waiting to see if he keeps the promises he made on this issue during the campaign. The military also should be restructured... There is too much dependence on National Guard and Reserve units (something Clinton implemented).

Of course one way to relieve the strain on the military is to have a completely different foreign policy approach to begin with.

I would also like to see the Obama Administration re-investigate the numerous suspicious death cases of soldiers overseas... But I know that isn't going to happen. The deaths of these soldiers are not priorities and never will be priorities for suits in Washington DC. I really don't think any of those people give a damn about individual cases.

But improving overall conditions will improve quality of life, reduce divorces (due to excessive deployments), reduce family violence, reduce suicides, improve the quality of housing and health services.


Hanafi Mohan said...

really useful article. thanks.

Hanafi Mohan

Andre said...

One of the better moves by the Obama Administration was to charge Michelle with restoring the quality of life for military personnel and their families. In a country ostensibly (and laughably) committing to "supporting the troops", ours is a track record I'm embarassed to claim as an American.

When stories broke about the dismal conditions at Walter Reed, it angered a bunch of us but left the Bush Administration virtually unaffected, even going so far as to promote additional cuts in veterans' benefits. Granted, Gen. Weightman was given the boot. But the slow, apathetic, callous, and tepid response the Bush Administration created a major scism with Armed Forces personnel. But heartless as all that might seem, this isn't the first time in our country's shameful history that we have essentially pissed on the people who sacrificed the most.

Since Vietman and Korea, the failure to provide for war vets has been paramount. It's scary to read stories like this, underscoring the reality of soldiers suffering from mental health issues who then engage in unfortunate acts against loved ones. How many divorces have been filed, partners assaulted, or family members killed because of soldiers too tramatized to return to civilian life? How many could have been treated? On top of that, how many soldiers returned home only to find a padlock at the gate or an eviction notice on the door? What about the rampant and ever increasing substance abuse by vets? What about support to redress the increasing number of suicides by soldiers? The lack of support for war vets has been flat out embarassing for this country.

What makes me angry to no end is when certain administrations place soldiers in the most horrific of conditions, but then won't have the general decency to care for them if and when they return. True, it is impossible and - perhaps unreasonable to think - that any amount of financial support, medical assistance, and mental support can help dissipate the pain they have in returning stateside. But outright leaving them alone and for dead is unforgivable. I pray that the Obamas make up for the failures of those in the past by providing resources for people who did the unimaginable. Even if I have to get taxed up the ass for it, I'd rather see them taken care of as they try to re-enter a world where bullets aren't flying at them and bombs aren't exploding every which way. Ultimately, I'm hoping the support the Obamas provide will be wrapped up into an overall package to end this nonsensical war, while creating a model of military support that will live on well after their time in the White House is up. But that's pretty wishful thinking.