While I can fully understand if the average reader has grown tired of the typical opining that one can find here at Educated Soldier of a young man in favor of his chosen Presidential candidate, I encourage you to stay with me one more time. I only have a single brief observation to make on behalf of Senator Fred Thompson and then I want to move on to a wholly original topic.
About Fred Thompson: When I watch debates, I attempt to take the perspective of a neutral viewer. In my own skin and through my own eyes, it is quite difficult to be impartial. That being the case, I attempt to perceive the candidates’ performances as if I were viewing through my mother’s eyes. While my mother is virtuous and knowledgeable enough, I would suggest that my convictions are much more engraved than her own.
And, thus, she tends to be more “naive,” or “impartial.”
Acknowledging her sentiment, I can see why people have not caught on to Fred Thompson’s message. The same reasons that cause me to adore Fred Thompson as a candidate are the reasons that the less politically attentive fail to get excited by him. I trust Fred Thompson because he shoots straight and speaks honestly. The average voter, however, doesn’t seem to value straight-shooting as much as they value passion. It doesn’t seem to matter what a candidate says as much as it matters how he / she says it.
The media has developed this connotation that Fred Thompson is lazy. As long as that connotation exists, the average viewer will interpret Thompson’s calm debate performances as lacking passion. The denotation (that you and I as Thompson supporters understand) is that Thompson is calm because he is running his campaign on substance rather than emotion.
I am disappointed to be a member of a generation that rallies around hollow words delivered emotionally (in the case of, say, Senator Obama and Governor Huckabee) than around an individual that has actual plans to improve America’s condition (see Thompson’s detailed plans for social security and tax reform, et. al).
I admit it: I see why the “average Joe” isn’t fired up by Fred Thompson. Being just as honest, I must confess that I am saddened - as a sacrificing American soldier - that “average Joes” would declare their support for mere rhetoric when much more genuine substance exists.
Call me “crazy,” but I want to be the Secretary of Defense for these United States of America. During the Fox News Republican Forum, I heard Senator McCain suggest that he has a plan for catching Osama Bin Laden. I can not hold the distinguished Senator to that claim. However, I can argue that I have a successful plan that I would implement should I, hypothetically, assume the role of Secretary of Defense.
I know it sound crazy but please follow with me.
Alright, foremost, as Secretary of Defense, I would focus most of my attention on the most important individuals that we have fighting on America’s behalf in the Global War on Terrorism. These are America’s Special Operations Forces.
As the new Secretary of Defense, I would double the size of the Combat Applications Group (“CAG,” Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta, “Delta Force,” what have you). I would leave half the squadron under the command of SOCOM. The other half I would put under the direct control of the Pentagon. And, when I say “under the control of the Pentagon,” I mean it in the sense that half the squadron would answer only to the Secretary of Defense (me) and his (my) most trusted advisors – very, very few levels of management.
Both halves of the C.A.G. squadron would have equal training. I only want individuals who are ready for today’s fight. And today’s fight occurs in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. C.A.G. would be knee-deep in men that train and desire nothing more than to live in arduous conditions, sleep in caves (or less), and terminate the enemy.
I want individuals who speak the language and understand the culture. They would live the culture. They would be able to develop actionable intelligence. And by quickly dialing SOCOM or the Pentagon, they would have instant authorization to act on the knowledge that they gained. The key to catching high value targets is the elimination of delay between gaining intelligence and acting decisively on it! With less micro-management, my Combat Applications Group would have Osama and the top heads of Al Qaeda dead or in custody in just a few months.
The above-described plan would be key to my success as Secretary of Defense. My next step would be to continue to the current re-modularization of the military into a force that can operation autonomously at the brigade level and below.
I would increase our Special Operations Forces. I would ENSURE that the Army’s Special Forces Groups are language and culture proficient. I would disregard all Special Operations Generals and Admirals who are only proficient in direct action missions. If I was Secretary of Defense, no one would command SOCOM (or any SOF element) unless they could command troops in the implementation of foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare, and other SOF-particular missions; proficiency solely in counter-terrorism or direct action does not equate a SOF – qualified leader.
The infantry battalions in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st, the Marines, etc… their direct action capabilities would be sharpened to their utmost. I want these infantryman conducting the reactionary missions; not my SOF personnel. SOF gathers and reacts instantaneously.
The misuse of Special Operations Forces is the single most devastating mistake being made in the War on Terror.
I would work hand-in-hand with diplomatic and intelligence agents. I would rebuild the military intelligence networks of days gone by. For every ambassador, there would be a Special Forces team with language or cultural knowledge to work cooperatively. I would encourage the CIA, DIA, et. al, peers to work as a team to develop any and all data in every area, whether friendly or foe…
And that’s about it.
I am 24 years old. I study religious and international studies at the University of South Florida. I have ambition to be a National Guard Special Forces soldier after attending law school. I would like to be a congressman. These are all goals and I am but determined and young. Yet, I believe that all I posed tonight in this alcohol-inspired rant could truly be implemented to better secure the world’s greatest nation.