This is the fifth (and I do like fifths) in our series devoted to deconstructing the issues page of Jeff Barnett, candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. Today, we will look at End Our Wars.
Like many American families, today’s wars are more than just “issues” for my wife and me. Our youngest child is deployed to Afghanistan. Our eldest child is an Army doctor at Walter Reed. I know what it means to have loved ones in harm’s way. As your Congressman I will never let politics influence my votes on sending our sons and daughters to war.
That’s good to know, but is this a backhand accusation that Rep. Wolf did let politics influence his votes?
As your Congressman, I will bring a practical approach to foreign policy – and make sure we end our wars.
By quitting? I’d rather win our wars.
The invasion of Iraq was a monumental mistake. Our incumbent Congressman voted for this war – a vote I opposed at the time. I support the current withdrawal schedule and will stay on top of its timeline.
Our Secretary of State voted for that war, too, as did most of the Democrats in Congress. They had access to the intel reports. Candidate Barnett did not.
When we let Al Qaeda escape into Pakistan, we created a new and serious threat. Pakistan has 175 million people – and nuclear weapons. It must not become a failed state – which is exactly what Al Qaeda wants. This is why I support our temporary surge in Afghanistan, even though our daughter is deployed there. We must work with Pakistan, Afghanistan and our allies to build an indigenous vise around the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. I will be relentless in ensuring actions match specific and attainable goals, and I will make sure we stay on schedule for bringing our troops home.
Did we have timelines in WWI or WWII? Did we say, “If Germany does not surrender in six months, we will”? Did the Union have a timeline in “The War of Northern Aggression”? Did they say, “If the South does not surrender by January, we will”? No. They focused on winning those wars, not on when they were going to quit.
As President Obama said in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, evil will always exist in our world.
And all that is necessary for it to be victorious is for us to do nothing.
America must sometimes fight when nonviolence fails to surmount “the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.” When decisions over war and peace face Congress, I will go the extra mile to emphasize peace. I understand war, from combat to peacekeeping. My father is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. My wife served for eight years in the military. Both our children serve on active duty. If our Nation must go to war, I will ensure there is no other option. I will ensure we have clear goals and the resources to attain those goals.
I thank you and your family for their service. But understand this, we have the resources to win these wars. We just refuse to use them. Right now, we have about 1.5 million active duty military — about one half of one percent of our population. In WWII, we had about 16 million people serving from a nation of 132.4 million — about 12% of our population. Even 10% would give us an army 30 million strong.
How about we start acting like a nation at war, and actually try to win them?