By Dakota Meyer
I keep hearing all the talk on what to do with this ISIS. All of the politicians voice their ingenious plans on how to defeat them.
I will admit up front that I am not a military strategist. Actually, I’m nothing more than a twenty-six year-old, high school educated, small town guy that loves his country. I am also a Marine, but I’m certainly not going to lay out the “grand strategy” for peace and prosperity in the Middle East, a condition which has probably never existed.
But I do have some keen insights from being the “boot on the ground” that the politicians so casually speak of that must be considered. I want to be crystal clear—there is nothing more the Devil Dogs want than to be unleashed on these savages. But Congress and all of Washington must set the conditions for success to ensure we are not misused for another dozen or so years.
First and foremost, we must have a clear plan; a plan with achievable, measurable objectives and milestones. What does victory in this part of the world look like? I certainly don’t know anymore, but I wasn’t elected or appointed or anointed to know. Those who were should have this plan before any “boots” are put on the ground.
Second, the policy: it must transcend administrations. Our position as a nation on this matter must be rock solid and unwavering. Tactics and procedures can change, but our objectives should not. Where our nation has been most successful (e.g. Germany and Japan), our policies have never wavered. Yet somehow in Iraq and the broader Middle East we change strategies like the New York Jets change quarterbacks. And you see where it has gotten us.
We need milestones to measure our success. What does victory look like?
Third, our senior officers, our generals, must be willing to lose their job every single day. They must be fearless in speaking truth to power.
Our highest ranking military personnel must relish the chance of dying on The Hill—literally. There is a famous photo of Brute Krulak giving President Johnson an ear-full. It cost him the chance to be Commandant of the Marine Corps. But he did his job. He represented the men and women in uniform. I’m not confident our senior generals are doing this or even telling Congress and the President the real deal.
Which leads to my final point. Young Marines, Devil Dogs, soldiers, and airmen must seek public office. The men and women who had the moral courage to sign their name on the line are the best qualified to serve our nation in this time of great peril and uncertainty. We are the 1%. We have borne the cost of the folly that is Washington, DC and we are the only ones with the courage and fortitude to fix it.
We need new faces and ideas in DC who understand these things. The incumbents, some with as many as thirty years in office, who stand for nothing more than getting re-elected, sadly do not.