Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why the Troops Diss Obama

Recall from yesterday, "Watch How Vastly Different West Point Cadets React Between Hearing Presidents Obama and Bush."

In a Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation poll out last month, just 32 percent of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans approved of how well President Obama "is handling his job as president." Just 42 percent consider Obama "a good commander-in-chief of the military." In contrast, when asked if George W. Bush "was he a good commander-in-chief of the military," two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) agreed that he was.

See, "After the Wars - Post-Kaiser survey of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans."

And FWIW, see the discussion from Rajiv Chandrasekaran, "After the Wars: A Legacy of Pain and Pride." It's a beefy discussion, but one thing that sticks out is the mediocre medical care veterans say they receive from the Veterans Administration, which rings with particular resonance considering the Obama administration's VA scandal.

As for the huge gap between troop respect for President Bush versus President Obama, see former Army Lieutenant Colonel Alan West, "Blame Bush: Why Obama gets so little respect from the troops":
What civilians fail to realize is that we join the military to serve, realizing that the rigors of combat and privation are a part of that service, sacrifice, and commitment. We're not looking for someone “posing” as a leader who uses us as political pawns and gives away the hard-earned gains we've achieved. What troops want are leaders who are principled and will stand and have heartfelt sorrow when one of our brothers or sisters gives that last full measure of devotion.

What we see happening to our military under the Obama administration is unconscionable. The cutting of benefits to those serving, have served, and their families is disturbing. To have a Secretary of Defense step forward and announce we are cutting our military capability and capacity at a time when the world is far more volatile is perplexing.

To hear President Obama come out and say that we are war weary? When in the heck has he put on combat gear and humped on a patrol or spent years deployed?

Real combat troops don’t look for a fight, but when a fight comes their way, they want to win. And they expect leadership that will stand with them seeking victory, not retreat, masked as some insidious political campaign promise...

I think the troops also genuinely respect a president who articulates and embodies American exceptionalism, like President Bush. (And President Obama, not so much.)