Even Hillary Clinton dedicated her campaign speech to the topic on Thursday.
However, all of the talk about the expediency and possible number of boots on the ground misses a larger point - what the men in those boots are permitted to do in order to win the war on terror.
Two US soldiers walk at the site of a suicide attack On the Kabul Jalalabad road, in Kabul on December 27, 2013.. (AFP/Noorullah Shirzada)
What our troops discovered upon landing in the Middle East is the expectation that they were to instead wage a politically-correct version of war - one that would make Gen. George Patton turn over in his grave.
It was a war in which troops were called upon to "win hearts and minds" and to cease fire on cowardly men who often hid among and used women and children as shields. Even a new agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan in 2013 put forth that "rules of engagement place the burden on U.S. air and ground troops to confirm with certainty that a Taliban fighter is armed before they can fire — even if they are 100 percent sure the target is the enemy."
Ask any of the troops who have returned home from the war in Afghanistan or Iraq, and they will tell you that U.S. rules of engagement in the war on terror kept them from being able to fully do their jobs.
Take, for example, the personal testimony of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.
In his book and major motion picture "Lone Survivor," Luttrell recounts a fateful encounter in June 2005 with a group of goat-herders on a mountain top in Afghanistan.
Although human instinct and years of training told Luttrell and SEAL Team 10 that the clan would most certainly report their location to the Taliban just down the hill, Luttrell and his team acquiesced and did not fire upon them because the thought of facing the scrutiny of liberal news media back in the U.S. - as well as a potential court martial - was more daunting than the risk of being discovered by Taliban fighters.
Sure enough, Luttrell believes the goat herders immediately exposed the location of the team and after a long, brutal firefight the Taliban had killed everyone on the mountaintop except Luttrell.
Luttrell's experience proves that our troops have become more afraid of the media in the U.S. than they are of doing their jobs.
Navy SEAL Team Six member Rob O'Neill - the man who personally pulled the trigger and shot Osama Bin Laden in May 2011 - has also shared his experience.
I had the privilege of meeting O'Neill nearly 18 months before his identity was revealed by FOX News in November 2014, and he has since shared with the rest of the world that on the night SEAL Team Six burst into the room of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden in a Pakastan compound, Bin Laden shoved one of his wives in front of him so that she would be shot first. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Ladies first."
Many troops like O'Neill and Luttrell have sounded the alarm regarding the type of enemy we are fighting.
Yet the rules of engagement have remained the same.
In August, on a train from Amsterdam to Paris three Americans - including two U.S. servicemen - stopped a bloody massacre after an Islamic extremist opened fire on board. The American troops reacted instantly, physically wrestling and hog-tying the armed terrorist. When the service members shared their story on FOX News' primetime program The Kelly File, they told Megyn Kelly they reacted instantly which made the difference between life and death not only for themselves, but for countless train passengers who would have otherwise been massacred.
If we unleashed the military might of our troops, would they be more like the men on that train? Most likely. They would be permitted to react instantly, in the manner in which they were trained.
Imagine for a moment what they could do to terrorists across the globe.
Boots on the ground? Sure, as long as the rules of engagement are brought up to date to fight the increasingly-barbaric enemy.
History has proven that appeasement doesn't work, and neither does tiptoeing around the battlefield. If America and its allies are to truly win the war against terror, we must unleash the full might of our military and allow them to finish the job they were sent to do. Anything less than our best is an injustice to those who have died at the hands of terror.
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