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America’s military history is one of great glory and accomplishment. We should be proud of that. But it is also one of grave mistakes, saddening and maddening mis-usage by inept and naïve politicians, and ill-fated ideas that have often caused more harm than good. I will point to two of the most clearly understood examples. First, how to do it correctly: World War II. The defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan is a triumph that should make us swell with pride, and one which we must tell to our children and grandchildren forever. The world has us to thank for not today being subjugated to the tyrannical rule of these two regimes. This war is the penultimate example of how to use and operate the military. It was not perfectly executed by any means, but the overarching story is one of greatness both at home and on the battlefield. Our citizenry was rallied behind the cause. Our politicians gave clear, and ongoing, reports to their bosses, We The People. We were told specifically why we needed to go to war. What victory would look like. And how we were going to accomplish that. Our elected representatives were asked by our Commander in Chief for their permission to wage war, and they granted that permission. Then our valiant fighting forces were unleashed to do what was necessary to destroy and defeat the enemy. They were not bridled or held back, but rather were given the objective and then given the resources and political backing to accomplish those objectives. Secondly, we can see how to do it incorrectly: Vietnam. This is a disgrace and blot on our history. One for which we still suffer some 40+ years later. A botched and embarrassing mark on which we should all look with shame and derision. This is not because our soldiers couldn’t have accomplished the objectives. Nor because the strength of the enemy was too much for us. It was because the ineptitude of our political leaders hamstrung our fighting force. Boxed in and handcuffed by their own commanders our warriors were not allowed to accomplish the goal. No clear objective or reasoning was given to We The People. Our support and involvement was not requested or encouraged. Our permission was not asked for or granted by our Representatives in Congress. And rather than being reported to and kept involved during the war, we were lied to and hidden from throughout the process. I will NEVER allow such a disastrous usage of the military while in office!

Numerous times in our history we have seen our armed forces used as essentially a charity organization. This is a mistake. It is a confusion of what the purpose of the military is. While I certainly support America’s involvement in helping those around the globe who are suffering from natural or man-made disasters, I don’t believe our military is the best organization to accomplish this. Our State Department should have jurisdiction over forces that are sent out to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and generally alleviate the suffering of humanity where we are able to help. These forces may have equipment equivalent to what we have become accustomed to our military operating. As such high tech and powerful equipment and vehicles will often be needed to accomplish the Herculean tasks operations such as helping those who have suffered from a natural disaster require. In some situations where hostile actors want to prevent our State Department team(s) from assisting people, our military might need to be used to protect our helping force, but our military is not best used directly as the primary deliverer of that help.

We must never forget that the armed forces are good at killing people and breaking things. It struggles to do other tasks as well and efficiently as another entity would. Because of this limited usage capacity, we must keep our priorities few and be strict in our endeavors to accomplish these goals. First and foremost is of course the protection of the American People, and our territories and lands from those who would do us harm or take from us. We will not be shy about protecting our sovereign lands from any who attempt to attack those areas. Second, we must be a good friend and neighbor with countries around the world with whom we share enough common values that we are comfortable naming them as our friends. We will not be shy about coming to the defense of our friends around the globe, and will see an attack on any one of them, as an attack on us. These are the two objectives of our armed forces. In either of these cases we should deploy our military in swift and overwhelming force to crush our enemies as quickly as possible. Please note that our primary goal is defeat of our enemies. Long and lasting defeat. While we do not desire the death or destruction of any human being, we should be willing to pay whatever cost is necessary to handle quickly and swiftly our two objectives. We will not be deterred by the threat of collateral damage in the pursuit of the destruction of our enemies if they violate either of the two objectives for which we have and maintain our military forces.

Finally, I want to discuss the maintaining of a military force when one of our two objectives is not in sight. Many of our forefathers have warned us against the dangers of a standing army in peacetime. More recently the phrase that was used to express a similar sentiment was the “military-industrial complex”. I believe there is much wisdom in both of these cautions. There is much waste of time and money in today’s military as many industrial barons are dependent on military spending to keep the taxpayer’s dollars flowing their way. And such motivation is contrary to the limited, focused, and powerful usage for which I believe our military is best suited. It leads to having capabilities that exceed the needed usage, and thus to sometimes trying to find a usage for which to send our resources too. We need to be very careful and make sure we are not using our military in locations and for reasons that do not fit our two objectives. Throughout our history that has led us to multiple cases of misuse which come back to us later and bite us in the backside. Wise and specific usage of the military is always a better choice.

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