Morale is down?

If you read this article
and read what they have there you can walk away with one of two impressions. You can take it at face value and think based on the comments from this report that the soldiers are worn out from years of combat. Don’t get me wrong, many are tired. Others are motivated. But if you really read the article and go a little between the lines I think what you will notice is that it is not the combat that has them worn out, it is leadership that has their morale down.

I don’t mean their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd levels of leadership. I mean much higher than that. In fact I would say it is the highest levels of command in the military….The Commander in Chief. Last week I interviewed Tom Neely while he was down in Gitmo playing for the troops and he talked about how morale is the lowest among the troops there that he has ever seen in 3 years. They aren’t in combat every day. He talked about it really being a problem just this year.

In my conversations with those in Afghanistan, I am hearing the same thing. The troops do have low morale. They are depressed, and they question why they are there when their own CiC does not have their back. There has been no strategy set, and there is no clear direction. All troops want is a goal or mission to accomplish. That is the way we do things in the military. Give us a mission and the tools to accomplish it, and we will do it. They have the tools for the most part.

What they don’t have is a clear direction, and when they are asking for some tools (like more troops) the request is being delayed at that same level…the highest level. I can tell you how I would feel if I was there right now (which means this is coming from some in country and how I would feel). Tell me what to do and let me do it or bring me home so I am not getting blown up and let me be with my family.

In other words the low morale is not from too many IEDs, or firefights, or being away from loved ones. It is becuase of a President that needs to decide what he wants to do…LEAD, FOLLOW, or GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY.

Morale was not down in Iraq in 2005-2007 when is was some of the worst violence ever. Morale was not down in Afghanistan any prior years. However it is down now. The American soldier relies on support from family, friends, community, and leadership to stay focused, maintain high morale and to get the job done. If any of those begin to get flimsy or fail then it will effect the quality of the soldier.

So whether it is directly by not authorizing the number of troops requested or indirectly by contributing to the low morale of the soldiers in combat. The actions of the President of this United States are contributing to the increased risk of death and injury of our brave men and women in combat.

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