Skin in the Game

Posted by Lex, on March 17, 2011

 

By lex, on March 17th, 2011

Whatever else you may think of America’s ongoing military commitment in Afghanistan, there’s little denying that – for some in the military, at least – it’s a deeply personal issue: *

Noting that Obama has said the U.S. will have combat troops out by the end of 2014, with the Afghan government in position to provide its own security, a skeptical (Rep Walter) Jones said he could imagine a senior military leader coming before Congress in 2015 and pleading for more time and more sacrifice.

“You know, 15, 16, 17 years, for God sakes, how much more can we take, how much more can we give treasure and blood?” Jones asked.

Petraeus replied: “I may not be at this table, probably won’t be, in 2015, but I’ll tell you that my son is in uniform, and Lieutenant Petraeus just completed a tour in Afghanistan, which thankfully we were able to keep very quiet, and left in November after serving as an infantry platoon leader. We’re very proud of what he did. He thinks he was doing something very important.”

His son, 2nd Lt. Stephen Petraeus, served in Afghanistan as a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

I know that General Petraeus is proud of his son’s service, as indeed I am of mine. Just as Marine Lt Gen John Kelly is no doubt somberly proud of the ultimate sacrifice his son made in Afghanistan.

I do wonder sometimes whether military service as a kind of “family business” is healthy for the republic.

 

** 05-11-2018 Link Updated – Ed. 

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