Jack Murtha argues a reason for withdrawing from Iraq is that the military is not prepared to fight an unconventional war. Howard Dean argues that we can never win in Iraq, and therefore should not try. This pessimism is another form of the Democratic Party’s desire for an oversized expensive unproductive government.
It is not unreasonable to expect the military to fight the wars that confront us. Consider this next time a critique of the Iraq campaign mentions cost. The democrats do not consider that Humvees needed to be retrofitted for IEDs; that the stryker brigades, combining mobility, firepower, and deployability, needed to be developed; that the Iraqi campaign is the cutting edge of transformation from a cold war military to unconventional warfare military. This was the simple idea of Donald Rumsfeld, which was subsequently distorted by the media, "You have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." The US is transforming the military at the same time it does an important mission in Iraq. Much of the capital are not lost in Iraq but are retained in a superior military that can better fight future threats.
Yet the low performing democrats also miss that the US military has significant civil affairs resources which actually comprise our exit plan from Iraq. Instead of building on a corrupt South Vietnamese dictatorship, we are building on a constitutionally elected Iraqi democracy. By missing this fact and surrendering to low performance, the democrats not only distort the past and the present, but they insult the significant skills of the military that include the ability to build new governments.
The democrat’s surrender to low performance goes beyond the military, but is foundational to their idea of oversized government as well. An essential difference between the parties is that the democrats want an oversized government to be involved in almost everything from regulating and overtaxing business to limiting free speech that is sourced in faith. We must say "almost," because democrats seem all to willing to give terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals freedom to succeed under the rhetoric of "privacy rights."
The normal republican wants correctly sized and efficient government. If we spend money on a military, we expect it to do the job that needs to be done. If bad guys are conspiring to kill, poison or rob us, we want a powerful, efficient police force to stop them proactively and efficiently. The solution to "privacy rights" is not to weaken the powers of those who protect us, but to fix the broken courts so that people who are really harmed have a legal remedy.
In Hawaii, and probably many other places as well, a careful look at the social experiment of oversized government giving welfare to the "disadvantage" shows a statistically significant increase in drug use, criminality, poverty, and domestic problems, together with decreased educational achievements. We need to get back to a correctly sized government from which we expect quality performance. In the military this means a winning attitude rather than surrender. In business this means freedom in the form of low regulation and low taxes so that self motivated individuals can work hard to achieve success.
Mark Beatty MA, THM, PHD, MBA, JD is the Republican candidate for the US Senate in Hawaii (www.electmarkbeatty.com) For Mark’s other articles see www.bestideashawaii.com.