“Part IV?!” you say. On my blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, I’ve already written three of these (Here, Here, and Here). And I think it’s important to ensure that as many people as possible understand that President Bush had MANY accomplishments during his tenure. Unfortunately, the DISloyal opposition has known no limits in bringing down this President (and the country with him).
Because I’m in the military, I tend to focus more on the military, national security, and veterans aspect of his leadership. He hasn’t gotten any credit for ANYTHING he’s done, much less when it comes to keeping this country safe. I’m not a big fan of the “we haven’t been attacked in seven years” defense as proof that Bush succeeded. I mean, from 1993 to 2001 we weren’t attacked either after the first World Trade Center bombing. As a matter of fact, we stopped just as many attempts during Clinton’s reign as we did during Bush’s reign (the millennium bomber comes to mind).
President Bush has done a lot to transform our Armed Forces to confront today’s and tomorrow’s threats. It hasn’t been easy because he had to not only transform our military, but had to do it with far fewer troops thanks for eight years of military cuts during the Clinton administration. Over the past eight years, America’s military has become stronger, more agile, and better prepared to confront threats to the American people.
To harden our defense, President Bush:
* Created the Department of Homeland Security;
* Provided national security professionals with vital new tools like the Patriot Act and a program to monitor terrorist communications;
* Reorganized the intelligence community to better meet the needs of the war on terror;
* Deployed aggressive financial measures to freeze terrorist assets; and
* Launched diplomatic initiatives to pressure adversaries and attract new partners to our cause.
While at the US Military Academy recently, President Bush concluded that we are engaged in an ideological struggle and launched an effort to discredit the hateful vision of the extremists and advance the hopeful alternative of freedom. In order to stay a step ahead of our enemies, the Administration transformed our military both to prevail on the battlefields of today and to meet the threats of tomorrow.
He equipped our troops with real-time battlefield intelligence capabilities – unimaginable just a few years ago. In Iraq and Afghanistan, troops in the field have used advanced technologies like Global Positioning Systems to direct airstrikes that take out the enemy while sparing the innocent, and the Administration is arming Predator drones and using them to track down terrorists. When President Bush took office, the United States had fewer than 170 unmanned aerial vehicles. Today, that number has expanded to more than 6,000. That’s 6,000 fewer pilots and gunners that face the potential of getting shot down, which would result in higher casualties.
He more than doubled funding for special operations and created the first-ever special operations command within the Marines. Additionally, he has given the Special Operations Command the lead role in the global war on terror. Under the President’s leadership, the United States has also placed a new focus on counterinsurgency. General David Petraeus wrote a new counterinsurgency manual published by the Army, with central objectives to gain the support of the people and train local forces to take responsibility on their own. The counterinsurgency strategy also stresses the importance of following security gains with real benefits into the daily lives of citizens. Every branch of the military now receives the counterinsurgency training that was once reserved for Special Operations Forces.
We began the most sweeping transformation of America’s global force posture since the end of World War II. Troops are shifting from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia, in order to surge more rapidly to troubled spots around the world. President Bush established new military commands to meet challenges unique to Africa and protect the United States. This Administration has also invested more than a half trillion dollars in research and development (money President-elect wants to slash), to build even more advanced capabilities to protect America. U.S. forces are becoming more joint and interoperable, in order to cooperate seamlessly across different services and with foreign partners. Additionally, the Federal Government is cooperating closely with the private sector to improve security in cyberspace to confront an emerging threat to the U.S. economy, defense systems, and citizens.
Under President Bush, the United States went on the offense against the terrorists overseas, rather than wait for our country to be attacked again. Recognizing the need for strong partners, we helped strengthen the counterterrorism capabilities of our allies and made clear that hostile regimes sponsoring terror or pursuing weapons of mass destruction would be held to account. The United States and its allies have applied the full range of our military and intelligence assets to keep pressure on al Qaeda and its affiliates. They have:
* Severely weakened the terrorists;
* Disrupted plots to attack our homeland; and
* Captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda leaders and operatives in more than two dozen countries, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
Recognizing that the only way to defeat the terrorists in the long run is to present an alternative to their hateful ideology, the United States is helping democratic societies emerge as examples for people across the Middle East. President Bush is pressing nations around the world – including our friends – to allow their citizens to have greater freedom of speech, worship, and assembly. Additionally, the Administration is advancing a broader vision of reform that includes economic prosperity, quality health care and education, vibrant civil societies, and women’s rights.
And yet the only thing you hear in the media (and in the comments section from those that disagree with me) is how President Bush is the worst President in history. They say that President Bush led us into an illegal and immoral war. And they said it so many times that people just stopped questioning it. Well, I aim to change that.
For the fourth time, THANK YOU PRESIDENT BUSH!!