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Old 05-20-2008, 21:56   #1
Codename46
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Is it an outright contradiction?

For all the current and veteran .mil guys here,

do you think it's possible to be critical of the way our government is handling foreign policy and still be able to correctly perform duties on the job (esp. as an officer?).

I'm not a hippie Liberal peacenik or anything, but over time I have begun to question and sometimes doubt the methodologies of interventionism, preventive war (as opposed to preemptive war), and the military-industrial complex. This is mainly due to a certain degree of research on my own part as well as influence from...uhh...certain maverick political figures on the Republican Party.

With any luck, I'll be commissioned as an O-1 in the USAF, hopefully as a Communications Officer, in a few years. I understand that the reality is that there is a very good chance that I'll have my turn at seeing the sandbox, but I am fully convinced that despite the viewpoints that I am currently exploring, I won't try to pull desertion or anything, nor do I believe that my effectiveness will be compromised. But that is hard to tell, especially behind a computer keyboard.

I've had people, both Libertarian and Neo-Conservative alike, tell me to quit ROTC (which I can't really do at this point because I'm contracted). Libertarians tell me that I'm fighting an unconstitutional war. Neo-Cons tell me that the military doesn't want people with Libertarian leanings on foreign policy, and that I don't deserve to be in the .mil with my "traitorous" opinions. One person offered to call up command and tell them about my beliefs regarding non-interventionism (it was an ugly Internet Fight ) in an attempt at undermining me.

I want in. It has been my desire for over 5 years to serve in the armed forces and do what I believe is my own personal obligation to this country for what it has provided me with. But I am distraught, both by the doubts I am having politically-speaking and from the upsetting advice from my peers.

Your thoughts and recommendations?
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:02   #2
bennwj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename46 View Post
For all the current and veteran .mil guys here,

do you think it's possible to be critical of the way our government is handling foreign policy and still be able to correctly perform duties on the job (esp. as an officer?).

I'm not a hippie Liberal peacenik or anything, but over time I have begun to question and sometimes doubt the methodologies of interventionism, preventive war (as opposed to preemptive war), and the military-industrial complex. This is mainly due to a certain degree of research on my own part as well as influence from...uhh...certain maverick political figures on the Republican Party.

With any luck, I'll be commissioned as an O-1 in the USAF, hopefully as a Communications Officer, in a few years. I understand that the reality is that there is a very good chance that I'll have my turn at seeing the sandbox, but I am fully convinced that despite the viewpoints that I am currently exploring, I won't try to pull desertion or anything, nor do I believe that my effectiveness will be compromised. But that is hard to tell, especially behind a computer keyboard.

I've had people, both Libertarian and Neo-Conservative alike, tell me to quit ROTC (which I can't really do at this point because I'm contracted). Libertarians tell me that I'm fighting an unconstitutional war. Neo-Cons tell me that the military doesn't want people with Libertarian leanings on foreign policy, and that I don't deserve to be in the .mil with my "traitorous" opinions. One person offered to call up command and tell them about my beliefs regarding non-interventionism (it was an ugly Internet Fight ) in an attempt at undermining me.

I want in. It has been my desire for over 5 years to serve in the armed forces and do what I believe is my own personal obligation to this country for what it has provided me with. But I am distraught, both by the doubts I am having politically-speaking and from the upsetting advice from my peers.

Your thoughts and recommendations?

Of course you can be critical of decisions made by superiors. You just have to carry those decisions out as if they were your own.

First of all forget al of this nonsense about an illegal, immoral war. Once you see how the idiots we are fighting treat each other first hand you will see that what we are doing is right and good.

Do I agree with the way the war is being run? Not always, but what is the alternative? Pull out and wait for the next attack on our soil? Hope for the best? "Talk" to people who want us and your way of life destroyed? There are some people that diplomacy will not work with. For them the only diplomacy they understand is coming from the barrel of a gun.

All I can say about our candidates for the Presidency is they are all idiots. McCain is the lesser of three evils, but no prize. He will support the military, but just because he is running I think that the Republicans will lose seats in the House and Senate and at that point we will get screwed just as if Hillary or Obama win.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:29   #3
stanggt9050
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You can be critical but only to yourself and maybe your family. Outside of that as a member of the Military you ARE NOT allowed to "speak your mind" in public. Why do you think all the Generals wait until after they are retired to speak out..
As for your post you may think you want to serve but your writing leads me to believe you will not succeed. You have to be 100% loyal to your chain of command without exceptions. You must follow all orders of those appointed over you.
It sounds to me like you are listening to those not really informed on the real truths of the Military and Foreign policy of this government. You CAN NOT, I repeat, CAN NOT believe anything heard on TV, Radio, or read in print news. It is all for the most part BS. Having served for over 24 years I can tell you the Military does more to defend our way of life than will ever be known publically. What our Military does day in and day out is truly awe inspiring and I would do it all again...
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:45   #4
Sam White
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Yes you can. It's professionalism. Your job is to help accomplish the mission given to you. You can believe what you want, but you need to keep those opinions to yourself and maybe family/close friends. To the outside world you are "the military." Maintaining the best possible image of the military to the outside world is part of professionalism.

And don't listen too much to what people outside of the military (I'm guessing these people you mentioned weren't in the military) think you "should" do.
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Old 06-28-2008, 19:26   #5
AF-Odin
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In a perfect world, the military would be totally apolitical. We do not want or need a military that is beholden to one political party or another. When you are commissioned, you swear to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." You are not swearing to support the republican or deomcrat or libertarian president or congress. Within today's military you will find those who support Obama, McCain, and Paul as well as those who favor "throw all the b***ards out." Some administrations are more favorable to the military than others and flag officers are "nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate." This does not necessarily mean that flag officers (generals and admirals) agree with everything the administration does or wants to do. It is here that you have to make a decision. Whereas you may disagree whith what the administration wants to do, you must analyze if what they are doing violates the Constitution. Our Constitution gives some very specific powers to the president and other powers to the congress. As members of the military, we may not agree with what is being ordered, but if it is a legal order, then we must follow that order even if we disagree with it. We must accomplish our mission.

The above is a lot of platitudes about politics, but the bottom line most of the time for most Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines is that they want to do what is right and not let their buddies down. The young Marine that threw himself on a grenade to save the others in his vehicle, the Army NCO who died while virtually single handedly fighting off overwhelming enemy odds to allow others to remove wounded to a safer location were not thinking about what political party had the white house or whether the intelligence information used to invade Iraq was flawed or whether the Iraqi people really wanted a free and democratic form of government. They were fightting and dying for their friends, comrades, battle buddies. Additionally, those same American Soldiers are the first to scrounge for medical supplies for Iraqi hospitals, request school supplies be sent from back home for Iraqi schools, and this is doing more to further the ideals of the Constitution of the United States than any of those who sit in the halls of congress.

As an American fighting for the PRINCIPLES which made this country great, you PUBLICLY hold your tongue while in uniform, learn about all aspects of policies and candidates, then VOTE your principles.
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Old 06-28-2008, 21:16   #6
Marine8541
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You’re thinking way too much even for an officer in the AF. You can either conduct yourself in a professional manner expected from servicemen or you can’t. You can either leave your politics at home or you can’t.
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