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What are your criteria for putting young Americans in harm's way?

What are your criteria for putting young Americans in harm's way?

The following to questions come from Mike Barbero, a retired general who served three tours in Iraq.  He said that he isn't sure the value of the hypothetical questions being asked of the presidential candidates and would rather they be pressed on their criteria for sending troops into a potential future battle.


I’m not running for President, but for the U.S. Senate.  I believe given the Article 1 Section 8 enumerated rights that U.S. Senators have, these questions should apply to me.

What are your criteria for putting young Americans in harm's way?

One: To always remember that the lives of the people are as precious as my own children.

Two: To always remember that families of these young men and women are also involved in every step of any choice that is made in regards to military actions involving their loved ones.

Three: Understanding the above, always provide for the best chance for success of any military action.

Four: To remember that the people that would fight for our country deserve nothing less than the full respect and support of our country during and afterward their missions for their willingness to sacrifice for our freedoms.

Five: To always look to avoid military conflict wherever and however possible.

What lessons learned did you take away from Iraq and Afghanistan?

That hindsight makes me a brilliant military strategist, but the past cannot be changed.

I will not sit here and write a plan of how I would have done things knowing things I now know that would likely influence a strategy after the fact.

What we can do is learn.  I’ve learned that you cannot change the will of an enemy as easily as some expected.  Weaponry may have advanced tremendously in the past 100 years, but human nature is not altered in such a way.

I fully believe that the founders would have done a much better job of understanding this piece of the equation than those in charge at this time.  For every action there is a reaction, and it includes reactions due to emotion, religious faith, logic, peer pressure, intellect, etc.

I’ve learned that once again, as it always seems throughout the history of our country that the men and women of our armed forces have done a remarkable job.  Any failures should lay at the feet of the leaders.

I would also like to comment on what is current.  I believe we have forgotten to take care of our men and women in uniform that are in harm’s way right now.  We have to remember that they are still there.  We’ve forgotten our contract with the men and women.

The removal of sundries, simple pleasures that could easily be provided for our men and women in uniform, is just another reminder that we have failed to remember to support our troops.

They are not enjoying a country club life.  They are still at the front protecting our freedoms.  Full support is the only answer.  To do anything less than that can only mean we’ve exhausted all ability to do so, and that is not an acceptable option.

Alex Meluskey, U.S. Senate Candidate, Arizona 2016