The proper use of U.S. Military personnel

Discussion in 'Politics and Religion' started by oddfellow4870, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. oddfellow4870


    Other than the constitutional quote, this is my own work.

    The Constitution of the United States of America

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    So when is it legitimate to put U.S. troops in harm's way?

    To protect US civilians, industries and economy

    Under this principle, a member of the armed forces must be willing to give his or her life to protect the lives of citizens. When an enemy has killed citizens, greater sacrifices and more extreme measures must be taken to prevent further losses of life. As the mission moves further toward protecting financial interests where there is no identifiable threat to the lives of citizens, the use of the military must be more severely questioned. As the threat to citizens becomes less obvious and more indirect the use of the military must be more severely questioned.

    Threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness may also justify putting U.S. troops in harm's way, but such use must be proportional to the threat. If an enemy, through attack, sabotage and subversion of U.S. institutions threatens to overthrow the legitimate government, then the use of troops becomes more obvious.

    So to take the constitutional statements and order them,

    The priority of the military is to provide for the common defense and to a lesser degree, to insure domestic tranquility
  2. lamont5123


    A justifiable war is in the eye of the beholder.

    However, I bet most of the people who think this war in Iraq is justified either have no children, or if they do, they never let them within three miles of a recruiting center.
  3. oddfellow4870


    So to keep this non-partisan and universal, can we identify any principles that would define when a war is justified and when it isn't?
  4. justbill_redux

    justbill_redux King Missile

    Agree with you 100% on these issues. Its a sad state of affairs when the RWers say we have the "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks and that we brought democracy and freedom to Afghanistan. And how fucked up is it that the women of Iraq had more freedom in Saddams time then they do now or will for the foreseeable future.
  5. donquixote04


    In my opinion, one of the dumbest things this administration has done is blow our win in Afghanistan by shifting our key resources to Iraq. Four years ago, that Taliban (and their as Qeada allies) were handily defeated. Today, they are on the rise again.

    In my opinion, this has a lot to do with the shift of American resources away from the attack on Osama Bin Laden (remember him?) and to the attack on Saddam. Bin Laden remains today an important threat to the USA. Saddam hadn't been a threat to the USA since at least the end of the Gulf war in 1991.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
  6. donquixote04


    Frankly, I'm not interested in having a long discussion with you about history. I will, however, share with you that in my opinion, the Afghan was was one of the most justified we have ever engaged in, and the Iraqi war is one of the least justified. Indeed, it's "justification" was based on either lies or incompetence. Which may be a matter of opinion for the time being, but in no way was the justification based on facts or any real threat to the "national interests", as you put it. Furthermore, in my opinion the consequences of our monumental screw-ups in Iraq has had the net impact of seriously eroding our national interests.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
  7. donquixote04


    It's spin because it presumes a point of view, or conclusion, or opinion, as accepted fact. The question presumes that "the media" prefers safety to the national interests, and it presumes that the Iraq war is in the national interests.

    Both these presumptions are just that: presumptions. They are not facts. Your question is no more objective than the "when did you stop beating your wife" question, which presumes that you have been indeed been beating your wife. There's no way to fairly answer the question. The only fair way to have a discussion is to question the premise of the question.

    My sarcastic counter-question was composed to illustrate your spin by flipping it to mine.

    If you were really interested in a real discussion, you wouldn't have framed this thread around the choice between safety and the national interests.

    One of my daughters graduated from college this year, and in contrast to the usual bullshit we hear in commencement addresses, one of the speeches delivered was very thought provoking. The point of it was the advice that, in life, when faced with the choice between safety and freedom, always choose freedom. In my opinion, the current administration is BASED on ALWAYS making the opposite choice.
  8. oddfellow4870


    Good analysis Mousey......

    The only thing I disagree with is that once we destroyed the base in Afghanistan, the war on terror, which I personally think is a worthy War, becomes one where we have little experience and no visible, geographical target. At that point, should the war on terror be the province of much smaller forces and an intelliegence agency of some kind... or what?
  9. its_mousey



    That's a actually a good question, notwithstanding its sarcastic component.

    But that's a question that we must always ask whenever we contemplate sending our troops in harm's way. Let's keep in mind two things:

    1) that our military is composed of our families and friends; and

    2) strip it to its very core, the primary purpose of our military is to kill and destroy in the most efficient way possible.

    I don't mean to dehumanize our men and women in uniform, but for all intents and purposes, they constitute one, highly trained killing machine. And that's the way it should be, I wouldn't want my military any other way.

    When we unleash our military, we expect only one conclusion: the death and destruction of our enemy. They either capitulate or they will be destroyed.

    It's like a loaded gun. The gun may look nice, and may even be considered as something worthy of artistic praise. But don't forget what its true purpose. When you point the gun at someone, make sure that you are certain of what you're doing because once that bullet leaves the chamber - there can only be one conclusion.

    Afghanistan. We knew who did it. We knew exactly where he was. We knew our target. We were united in purpose and our purpose was clear. The world grieved with us and understood our anger and our need for revenge.

    Iraq. We were divided. We were unsure. With the exception of a handful of nations, the world saw us as the aggressors. Yet somehow, this war came to be. We are divided more than ever. What little international support we have has virtually dwindled into nothing. Voices of dissent are now being heard from the very ranks of our own military. Yet the killing continues.

    Also consider that despite of the awesome destructive capabilities of our military, it has its limits. If you squander that military might on conflicts like Iraq, inevitably, you will diminish your military's capacity for war and invoke the ire of the global community at the same time.

    Whenever we're united, NOTHING in this world can stop us. We fought two world wars, one of which we fought in two theatres simultaneously and won single-handedly.

    So when is it proper to use our military personnel? Whenever we're damn sure.

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2006
  10. oddfellow4870


    I did not post the thread to justify my own opinion. I am curious as to the opinion of others, especially those who are anti-war. I wonder when and how you or others might feel it's acceptable to lose people.

    It's not supposed to be sneaky. But if you have no answer, that might suggest that your own position is just to be anti-Bush no matter what he does.

    Pick a war. Any war. The list is supposed to make it easier.
  11. SkellyChamp


    Read the two questions objectively - Whose is spin?
  12. oddfellow4870


    How is a question spin? I'm just curious as to what standards you or others would use. It's very easy to complain that we are wasting lives, but if you are going to have a military at all, when can you put them in harm's way?

    I posted the list of wars.

    Do you have an opinion as to which wars were justified and why?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2006
  13. donquixote04


    This spin is so old and boring I really shouldn't even respond.

    Of course it's okay to endanger the militay "in order to accomplish something in the national interest". The issue is the opinion by many that nothing is being accomplished in the national interest, and that the national interests are being subverted by the misguided use of the American military. Here's the more relevant question (especially with regards to trying to understand the "keeping score" aspects of the media coverage you seem to abhor):

    When is it legitimate to endanger the lives of our military in a misguided attempt to accomplish something in the national interest that actually causes long term harm to the interests of the USA?
  14. oddfellow4870



    American Revolution (1775–1783)
    Total servicemembers 217,000
    Battle deaths 4,435
    Nonmortal woundings 6,188

    War of 1812 (1812–1815)
    Total servicemembers 286,730
    Battle deaths 2,260
    Nonmortal woundings 4,505
    Indian Wars (approx. 1817–1898)
    Total servicemembers 106,0001
    Battle deaths 1,0001

    Mexican War (1846–1848)
    Total servicemembers 78,718
    Battle deaths 1,733
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 11,550
    Nonmortal woundings 4,152

    Civil War (1861–1865)
    Total servicemembers (Union) 2,213,363
    Battle deaths (Union) 140,414
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) (Union) 224,097
    Nonmortal woundings (Union) 281,881
    Total servicemembers (Conf.) 1,050,000
    Battle deaths (Conf.) 74,524
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) (Conf.) 59,2972
    Nonmortal woundings (Conf.) unknown

    Spanish-American War (1898–1902)
    Total servicemembers 306,760
    Battle deaths 385
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 2,061
    Nonmortal woundings 1,662

    World War I (1917–1918)3
    Total servicemembers 4,734,991
    Battle deaths 53,402
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 63,114
    Nonmortal woundings 204,002
    Living veterans fewer than 500

    World War II (1940–1945)3
    Total servicemembers 16,112,566
    Battle deaths 291,557
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 113,842
    Nonmortal woundings 671,846
    Living veterans 4,762,0001

    Korean War (1950–1953)
    Total servicemembers 5,720,000
    Serving in-theater 1,789,000
    Battle deaths 33,741
    Other deaths in service (theater) 2,827
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 17,730
    Nonmortal woundings 103,284
    Living veterans 3,734,0001

    Vietnam War (1964–1975)
    Total servicemembers 8,744,000
    Serving in-theater 3,403,000
    Battle deaths 47,410
    Other deaths in service (theater) 10,789
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 32,000
    Nonmortal woundings 153,303
    Living veterans 8,295,0001

    Gulf War (1990–1991)
    Total servicemembers 2,225,000
    Serving in-theater 665,476
    Battle deaths 147
    Other deaths in service (theater) 382
    Other deaths in service (nontheater) 1,565
    Nonmortal woundings 467
    Living veterans 1,852,000
  15. oddfellow4870


    What is the proper use of U.S. Military personnel?

    And when is it legitimate to endanger their lives in order to accomplish something in the national interest?

    Judging by the press coverage of the death toll in Iraq (the press loves to keep score), one might conclude that the proper use of the military is to not get hurt.