Another Candidate

Another Candidate

I received an article about an officer’s (I think a Marine Captain – maybe retired) assessment of Afghanistan. The gist of the article was how the preparation of the Afghan Army was a charade and the reporting concerning its progress was one big giant bureaucratic (and corresponding mountain of paperwork) lie. It mentions the corruption and inability of a true assessment. The officer is appalled at the trillions of dollars (and lives lost) spent to fund this farce (my word, not his).

The officer appears flabbergasted that the Army would perpetuate and create this false narrative. The article outlines the misleading details created by this reporting. If we change Army to government agency, many of us would not be surprised. Since the Army, I suspect, is like any other organization, promotion and other perks (e.g. location, assignments, etc.) are centered on job performance. If the job is to train Afghan soldiers and the soldiers are disinterested and choose not to learn, it is the fault of the trainer (which is often untrue, but…reality). If the trainer is a good person and the recruits are “untrainable”, the report can be written to show progress in an effort to put the trainer in a good light. This is all a fancy way of saying, it didn’t happen. Sure, progress was made, but what was the scale and the goal? If that part is never understood or clearly articulated, it is tough to assess objectively. In this case, people knew and lied about it.

If this same scenario is extended to other societal policies, such as education, a similar pattern may be found. Participation trophies abound, for both trainer and trainee. Money continues to flow. Assessments are diluted and made less rigorous. More money is spent in an effort to improve the results, but without success. Reports continue to show progress, but the scale is now skewed so badly, progress is hardly measurable. It is getting worse. Education is not the only example.

Back to the officer’s article; since trillions of dollars were spent on Afghanistan, the officer is in disbelief that some members of Congress are unwilling to spend a few trillion dollars on American infrastructure. He simply can’t believe it and wants those people replaced so this money can be spent here instead of over there.

There is no mention of repairing the bureaucracy that allows this perpetual lying within the military or even a hint that it might occur in other governmental agencies. There is zero discussion about how policies should change to rectify the concerns. The conclusion is we should not have been there in the first place (or at least stayed). I agree and was angry when we went over; it is clear we learned nothing from the British or the Russians. But that is where my agreement ends.

I do not want to spend trillions of dollars on undefined projects with no current revenue stream and for someone to suggest we do it here simply because of some ignorant foreign policy decision is ill advised policy. Making this assertion, after clearly articulating multiple administrative problems in one arm of government, is doubly aggravating and troublesome. I don’t see spending money on infrastructure as the root of our problems and will take issue with any one who does. We need candidates to fix problems, not spend more money. We have far too few of the former and way too many of the later, on both sides of the aisle.  

He is running as a Democrat for Senate.

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Categorized as Policy

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