|From:||CPEO Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||3 Oct 2002 14:17:46 -0000|
|Subject:||Re: [CPEO-MEF] "Green Troops"]|
[POSTED BY Ted Henry <email@example.com>] I am not familiar with the magazine GovExec that printed this article and I will not evaluate its efforts to provide a balanced picture on the subjects it covers. I will state that I find the article very interesting. The connections it tries to draw on certain points are questionable from my perspective. For instance, it speaks of the trucks driving in long convoys at first, before figuring out that it is not good to be such a large target. It then tries to connect this with not having training in driving the trucks. The strategy on how to move a convoy does not appear synonymous with how to handle driving a vehicle in tough terrain. It is not clear that a lack of training by the troops was the cause for the group starting out as a convoy. Watching one Discovery or Learning channel piece on infantry taught me that if a squad of soldiers is down on the ground, the whole unit does not stand at once to move on - they do it in groups in order to avoid opening up the entire unit to enemy fire at one time that may be nearby and, presumably, also to provide one group cover from the other that is still on the ground. As for the foxholes, the commander indicated that many of the men were surprised how much work it took to prepare a defense. It did not say they did not know how and it did not say that they were physically unable to do it. This suggests that the knowledge and the physical fitness were there to do the job. The fact that they may have been surprised is a perception issue of the individual and, although, I am not a soldier, I suspect there are many aspects of deployment and battle that are surprising, regardless of the training. I also found it interesting that the first half of the article cover the burden of species protection efforts on the CA beach, but then spoke of the positive effort to restrict use of 25,000 acres and willingness to protect the plant and tortoise at another site. I believe many question such evidence of impacted readiness, as there have been various commanders that say the troops are ready. Part of the article suggested that not having free rein on a beach impacts readiness; I believe it is debatable whether it does not. If they are inconvenienced by certain environmental protections, then so be it - that is part of life. My friend, who is a doctor in the Air Force, had to work 36 hour shifts in residency and still serves long hours. This is not the ideal way to practice medicine and it certainly is not the healthiest for the patients, but it is part of the job and port of the training. Also, despite the odd framework that places doctors under such strained conditions, they are not protected from making wrong decisions and they can still be sued or lose their right to practice if a wrong decision is made. They do not get wide legal protection from certain aspects of our society (such as being sued) because of another part of our system is burdensome (lack of sleep). Training while protecting the environment is part of our country today and as long as our democratic system remains even semi-functional, it will continue to be. Are there serious encroachment issues to be addressed? Yes. Is readiness something we need to ensure? In my opinion, yes. Should our federal government have to protect the environment while it prepares? In my opinion, absolutely yes. Where other animal and plant species go, so will we. Is readiness to protect this country important if we do not have a healthy, livable environment? From the short five-year budget cycle, the simplistic answer is yes, but from the longer perspective, I believe the answer is clearly No. Thus, we can continue to move down this path of "War trumps everything" and "You are with us or against us", where staunch for and against platforms are lobbed at Congress, OR... we can begin to look at both readiness and environmental protection as absolute necessities and start a methodical, multi-perspective forum to tackle the tough issues, such as the National Dialogue on Encroachment proposed by CPEO. I obviously hope that, sooner rather than later, people have enough interest in teamwork versus fighting to make such a dialogue happen. Rhetoric, spin and covert strategies on any side will not be nearly as productive. Sincerely Ted Henry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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