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Old 15-04-2014, 05:28 AM   #395
ksigmason
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boise, ID
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To answer the OP's question, yes, I have been to war, both times in Iraq; OIF III in Kirkuk (northern Iraq) and OND in An Nasiriyah near Ur and then near Al Amarah. Going in on the first tour I was relatively ignorant on most things political, but after 6-months I started doing independent research and that is when I became very political. My first tour I was an All Source Intel Analyst and, the second tour, I was the Mission Coordinator and Mission Briefing Officer for a Shadow UAV Platoon. I did not leave the base, but under certain circumstances, but one of the bases I worked out of was called "Fort Incoming" as we took constant IDF and, though not one of my men, I lost a neighbor who was cut in half by a rocket...I still don't attend my families 4th of July rocket show. In my 12-years I only made it SGT, but that is due to the funding policies within the Army National Guard, but I did serve as the State Representative and Operations NCOIC to the Aviation Group for the UAV PLT. I also served as the BDE Analyst Control Element Chief; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Team Leader; acting-Platoon SGT; acting BDE S2 NCOIC; and the list goes on. I would have stayed in, but I injured my back in my service and could not re-enlist to the horror of all of my commanders.

I have since starting going to a university and nearing the end for earning a Bachelors of Science in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations and a minor in History. Much of my degree surrounds foreign policy, but my real joy surrounds the study of the use of force, terrorism, civil war, national defense policies, and intelligence communities. One of my favorite classes was a Summer course that covered critical infrastructure protection.

I agree that the US needs to pull back from much of its, what others may call it, "imperialistic policies". Really it is what is known as preponderance which surrounds the belief that there will be a super power that will exert military force to influence policy around the world. Preponderance causes an effect of challenger states attempting to usurp and replace the authority of the hegemon (or super power), and thus has historically led to wars as well as pseudo-imperialistic policies that have a great deal of hypocrisy, double-standards or moral relativity (going to Iraq against Saddam instead of African warlords). While I'm a Realist (one who believes that security and force equals order), I believe that the US should abandon such policies and should adopt something closer to Offshore Balancing where regional powers would emerge instead of a global ones and these regions would be connected through a network of alliances to maintain global stability; regional super powers or alliances would maintain stability within their region and/or sphere of influence. I could keep going, but I won't stop and would suck all the bandwidth and most likely bore a majority of the readers.

I stated what is happening now in Iraq since I left in 2005. I mean, it didn't take a brain surgeon to see what would happen once the US framework and military forces pulled out.
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Last edited by ksigmason; 15-04-2014 at 05:29 AM.
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