As a person who never spent a single day in uniform, I am particularly mindful of those who volunteered to sacrifice themselves for the good of the many on the command of those civilians and military personnel charged with the responsibility of making decisions above the pay grade of those who will enforce our national will.
I’m asking for the opportunity to be the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces and as such it is only right that our military and their love ones hear from me on my thoughts concerning the military and our veterans.
First off I want to be very clear that I do not believe in the policies of nation building, occupation, or the spread of democracy by force. We are terrible at nationbuilding, but we are far and away the worlds best at unbuilding that which needs to be destroyed.
I believe if, for humanitarian reasons, an occupying force is required during the transition from a government removed to a new government, that the worst people to oversee that transition are the people who removed the previous regime. That is, in my opinion, a job best suited for the United Nations.
Above that, I believe in the principle that “all governments derive their just authority from the consent of the governed.” As much as we may believe firmly in the concept of democracy, it is arrogant of us to presume upon others that decision.
“Ours is the worst sort of government,” said Sir Winston Churchill, “except for all of the others.” We should remember both pieces of that as new governments emerge from the ashes of poor decisions.
As president, I will not hesitate to use force against our enemies where diplomacy has failed and I will not hesitate to use diplomacy when possible to avoid war. I will never place our sons and daughters in harm’s way, whether civilian or military without a clear cause for action, a clear mission, and a clear measurement for success. Our attacks, if any, will be precise, they will be justified, and they will be devastating.
Let all of the world know that from the point of my inauguration onward, it will be of great benefit to choose to be our friend and it will be a grave error to provoke our enmity. We are a merciful and compassionate people, but there shall be no mercy or compassion for those who choose our enmity rather than our friendship.
Upgrades to the military will include an emphasis on special forces training, secret forces training, covert warfare, urban infiltration, equipment upgrades, specialized training such as linguistics, and better care for our military personnel and their families.
We must return to the days of military pensions, rather than 401(k), offer health benefits for both active duty and former service members, increase the death benefit, protect military families from financial burdens caused by deployment or relocation, increase our capacity for and dedication to mental health assistance which should be mandatory for servicemembers returning from war zones, and we must do more to help prepare young servicemen and women for life beyond the military.
We must increase our ROTC programs, the G.I. Bill, educational opportunities, including trades and we should see to it that our homeless veterans have access to the mental and medical help they need. We must continue to protect those around the world with whom we have already established promises to protect. No matter the cost, and no matter what civilians may think of America’s role in policing the world, allowing our protectorates to suffer the consequences of our leaving is as unacceptable as allowing other powers to fill those voids. That is the price we pay for being the toughest kid on the block and we will never shirk that duty.
There is no glory in war. There is no pride in having enemies, but we do not live in a safe world where everybody gets along. It is crucial that we maintain a strong, but responsible fighting force worthy of a great nation who seeks to lead the world by good example.
While there may be no glory in war, there is honor in service and we the people must be sure to look after those who stand at the ready, prepared to sacrifice themselves to look after us. No matter what we may spend, it will always pale in comparison to to what they volunteer to pay on our behalf.
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