Any time that an organization or individual is on the losing side of an issue, the best course of action is to change the subject. It seems that the administration is doing that now. One potential scandal after another has been facing the administration for weeks, and attempts to explain them have been sadly amateurish and ineffective.
No one seems to be in charge or know anything about what happened in Benghazi, the IRS, and the Department of Justice going after the Associated Press.
The key individual in the IRS has been placed on paid leave (a vacation at taxpayers' expense), the FBI director had no idea who was investigating the IRS scandal or how many people were involved and the head of the National Security Agency stated that his agency was not reading emails.
As the bad news continues, the administration announced that it now has positive evidence that Syria used chemical weapons against its citizens and as a result, the United States will arm the anti-government rebels. The timing of this announcement seems rather suspect and the key element in the rebel forces has ties to Al-Qaeda. This could be the latest example of the Arab Spring becoming another disaster.
We have been fighting in Afghanistan for years and now the administration has announced that it will be negotiating with the Taliban as we leave the country. This is like speaking with Hitler and hoping that his seizure of Czechoslovakia will end his desire for taking over countries. The Taliban ravaged the country and allowed it to be a safe haven for terrorists. Of course, we will demand that it no longer will do this. Tsk tsk!
To add to the growing list of topics trying to change the subject is women in combat. The administration now announces that women will be allowed in those combat arms previously forbidden such as Rangers, SEALs, Special Forces. The caveat remains that standards will not be reduced, but when has that not ever happened when those in charge want to do something?
We have the most powerful and effective military force in world history, and slowly but surely we are making decisions that emasculate this force and make it less effective.
Driving a vehicle or being shot at is significantly different than carrying a combat load for mile after mile, not washing for weeks on end and going with reduced food and sleep for endless days. Equality is not the name of the game but rather combat effectiveness. I can give too many personal examples what infantry combat is like, but for those who care less about effectiveness, it is not heard.
Each of these topics that attempt to change the subject and allow the administration to ignore the growing emphasis on the numerous scandals will fail. One of the chapters in my book on leadership is trust. Trust must be earned and it is earned on a daily basis by what the leader habitually does. It is not what he says, but by what he does. We have seen what the government has done in numerous areas, and we do not like it.
Donald J. Myers, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at dmyers firstname.lastname@example.org.