Will We Win in Afghanistan? A Comparison of a WW2 Victory Medal and the Current War
In researching my father’s medals and campaign ribbons from World War II, I came across something very interesting that not only taught me something I did not know, but informed me about our current war in Afghanistan/Iraq
Now I absolutely supported Pres. Bush as he responded to 9/11 with clarity in his policies and the actions he initiated in both Afghanistan and Iraq but I did have my doubts along the way. My doubts about Rumsfeld’s policies were that he was going in too lightly in both places. He was trying to fight a “nice” modern war using high technology and fewer troops to surgically remove two bad regimes- the Taliban and Sadaam Hussein.
Three events really gave me pause: we did not adequately seal off Afghanistan in the Battle of Tora Bora in Dec. 2001 and in the Shahikot Valley in March of the next year thus allowing Osama Bin Laden to escape and in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 Turkey did not allow the 4th ID to land and transit Turkey into northern Iraq. The results of those two failures were: 1) Bin Laden is still on the loose after 8 yrs of war and 2) without enough troops on the ground in Iraq, chaos descended after our “victory” and the civil war followed.
Now, after 8 years of combat in A-stan, we are perilously close to losing that war and many demoncrats and even now conservatives are calling for a withdrawal. Just quit the war and leave A-stan to its own devices along with Iraq. For a current headline of the problems in A-stan go here:
I too have called for a withdrawal of our troops, and my son is currently serving in Baghdad, and I am not a chickenhawk, I served in the US Army Infantry with the rank of Captain in the Cold War, my father and grandfather are both veterans of WW2 and WW1 respectively. Four generations of soldiers in my family, and I have voted for conservatives for 30 years, so why am I calling for a cut and run policy?
I would rather stay and fight it out, IF WE WERE WILLING TO DO WHAT WAS NEEDED IN ORDER TO ACTUALLY WIN!!! But we aren’t. We are merely playing at war and spending our soldier’s lives for nothing. I want us to fight and win this war but I am convinced our strategy is doomed to failure. Why?
In my research of my father’s medals from WW2 (which were stolen from him in a burglary 30 yrs ago) I was looking at the WWII Victory Medal here:
The back of the medal is what interested me the most, here is the link:
And here is the pic:
- Backside of the WW2 Victory Medal
Notice that the engraving on the medal says: “United States of America 1941-1945, Freedom from fear and want, freedom of speech and religion.”
That is what we we were fighting for in World War II and we had a policy of “Unconditional Surrender” with both Germany and Japan. Furthermore, we fought Total War in the General William Tecumseh Sherman method. We bombed their cities, blockaded their ports, starved their population and didn’t care about “collateral damage”. In short, we fought to win. And we defined winning as “freedom from fear and want”, negatively and, positively, “freedom of speech and religion.” We were fighting for American ideals.
For what are we fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq? Will either country have freedom of speech or religion when we leave? NO!
The reasons I fear that we will lose both wars eventually is that we are not fighting for OUR Values, we are fighting to allow a more “peaceful” form of Islam to gain power over the more radical forms offered by the Taliban and Baathist party.
Unless and until we fight a war with American values at the core, we will not win, we will not deserve to win.