Ah, it is Christmas and American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are engaged in war at this time of peace and love. Since less than 1% of Americans have anything to do with war it is not surprising there is scant interest in what happens to those who daily risk their lives in pursuit of death and destruction. General Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff, told an ABC reporter about the impact of war on those who are serving. He recently visited an air force base at which senior pilots “have been flying mission after mission, 60% of whom are in their third deployment and 40% in their fourth deployment.” The impact is devastating to these men. “It affects their divorce rate. It affects substance use” and it is a major source of PTSD. The estimate is about 15% of those currently homeless in America at one point served in the US military. Since the current wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001, over two million men and women have been in a combat zone at one point or another. According to Chiarelli, five years ago when he asked a room of servicemen how many would seek counseling help, fewer than 10% raised their hands, today about 50% raise their hand because they have come to realize honesty is the best policy and it is not a sign of weakness.
We have leaders who intend to “win” in Afghanistan, but we do not have leaders who will speak honestly to the American people that if they desire war then they must desire a draft. We doubt war will continue if mom and dad have their son drafted into the armed forces.