Wednesday, September 17, 2014

So, let me get this straight...

Americans are rightly leery of getting into yet another land war in Asia (I mean, other than some bombing, which apparently isn't "war"-war, in a Goldbergian sense) despite arguments that could be made about national interests, such as the proximity of the short-fused neolithic goatherds to the world's oil spigots as well as more mundane things like trying to build a successful YouTube empire based on shortening American citizens.

So the White House, sensitive to public opinion about "boots on the ground" jerks a general's leash short for even hypothetically suggesting that such a thing might be necessary to fight an overseas contingency kinetic-aliocious, or whatever it is we're calling not-actual-"war"-type-wars these days...

...and then turns around and orders 3,000 troops (that's six thousand individual boots on the ground, in case anybody's counting) to West Africa to... I don't know, shoot Ebola viruses or something.

I was going to get outraged and say "The military is not there to boost the president's poll numbers!" but that would be disingenuous; of course they are, and presidents have been using them for that since George had to make a standing army to go shake down Pennsylvanian farmers. But they should at least be used for military-type missions.

The administration says that the troops in West Africa will be there for logistical support reasons, to build hospitals and refugee housing and whatnot. But haven't I just spent a whole damned Iraq war hearing about how KBR and DynCorp and Spacely Sprockets can do that stuff cheaper and more effectively than the lumbering dinosaur of the DoD?

Are we sending 3,000 personnel into even theoretical danger so that congresscritters in tough races can go pose with carefully-selected-for-diversity photo-op platoons of ACU-clad troopies stacking rice bags and building hospitals among throngs of smiling wogs right before election time? It's cynical of me to think so, but if true, then for shame! (As though the parties responsible would know shame if it bit them on the ass.)