An unaccountable military made in Biden's image?

A former great Democratic Party president (although these last four words might seem antithetical when used collectively) was Harry Truman. He took a no-nonsense approach to decision-making, reflected by a sign he kept on his desk in the Oval Office – “The Buck Stops Here!” He recognized, as president, he was and should be held accountable for any decisions made by his administration. Today we would describe such a trait as “manning up.”

Truman’s trait lies in contrast to that exhibited by President Joe Biden. Even after three years in office, he continues to blame most of the problems with which he has had to deal as being directly linked to his predecessor’s tenure. Based not only on his unwillingness to accept accountability but also based on his failure to play hardball with those who threaten us, Biden gives rise to a trait best described as “manning down.”

Between 1940-1973, the U.S. used a draft system to maintain an effective military force against those who might threaten us. This was how our warrior numbers were maintained during most of the war in Vietnam. While there were those of us who voluntarily served and those of us who awaited the motivation of the draft to do so, there were also those who avoided serving. While some chose to become draft dodgers, leaving the country for Canada, there were those who stayed behind and worked the system to avoid being drafted. One who effectively learned how to do this was a college student by the name of Joe Biden. He applied for and received five waivers before getting elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. He received those waivers for asthma, though somehow he was able to participate in high school and collegiate sports.

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As one who served in uniform for over a quarter of a century, I have come to resent the fact that our military today has to serve under a commander in chief who effectively dodged the draft, avoiding such service at a time his country needed him. As the death tally for our courageous warriors increased last month, so too did my resentment as many of these losses are the result of irresponsible decisions by military leaders mirroring Biden’s lack of leadership. Meanwhile, any accountability for the losses is non-existent.

We witnessed such irresponsibility during our chaotic 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan. We basically pulled out of bases in the dead of night without even informing our Afghan allies we would do so. No effort was made by military leaders to either take our military equipment with us or to destroy it in place, instead leaving over $80 billion worth of such weaponry for the Taliban to acquire. The rush to withdraw was so quick that hundreds of Americans were not evacuated, some of whom still remain there today. And, most tragically, a terrorist attack at the Kabul International Airport took the lives of 13 of our warriors who were providing security as well as the lives of 170 Afghans. Despite a withdrawal rivaling a dog retreating with its tail tucked between its legs, there has been zero accountability to hold those responsible for making irresponsible decisions. Interestingly, Biden blamed this chaotic withdrawal upon President Donald Trump.

Another example of such irresponsible decision-making occurred on Jan. 11, 2024, in the Gulf of Aden.

A large dhow, a wooden ship, operated by a Somali crew was believed to be smuggling missiles from Iran to the Houthi rebels. It was a night mission to stop, board and inspect the dhow, involving several Navy SEALs, deployed from the Expeditionary Mobile Base, USS Lewis B. Puller, operating in two boats. As three SEALs attempted the boarding, a large wave apparently swept one into the sea; a second SEAL reportedly jumped in to save him; and a third SEAL fell into one of the two boats where he was critically injured. The two SEALs in the water were never recovered.

But what is most damning about this incident is the decision-making that went into the order it be done. Boarding a ship at sea depends on the existing sea state. While a boarding mission can fairly easily be conducted up to sea state 3, once it hits sea state 4 and 5, it becomes much more dangerous. As one retired naval officer described the latter sea states, “The waves are going up and down eight feet and more and you do not board a ship in heavy sea.”

Despite this, and despite the SEAL team commander’s warning “the sea was too rough and it was beyond the capabilities of his team,” the Army officer in charge of all special operation missions onboard Puller ordered that the operation move forward and the SEAL commander complied.

It will be interesting to see what accountability evolves from this tragedy or whether, like the Afghanistan debacle, no one bears that burden. But the fact that it occurred at all should concern us that we are forging a military leadership made in Biden’s image.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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