Douglas MacKinnon

As has been infrequently reported, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan progressed, a number of members of our military became somewhat dismayed and disturbed by the almost complete lack of positive coverage printed or aired by the U.S. media.

Now, over five years into those conflicts, they have come to accept the sad reality that for much of our media, their decisive victories against the enemy, their critically important intelligence intercepts, their comrades lost in-the-line-of-fire protecting Iraqi and Afghani civilians, and the growing trust they have painstakingly cultivated with those civilian populations, has been deemed “non-newsworthy” by their own press corps. They don’t like it, but realize that the ethics, judgment, and bias of some in the media, is beyond their control.

That said, there is one element of these conflicts that Pentagon leadership wishes the media would do a better job of covering in a more positive manner. That being the exceptional medical and psychological care being offered to our “Wounded Warriors.”

In two separate meetings at the Pentagon with some of that leadership, I learned of their growing frustration with the lack of coverage of a success story that not only brings great credit to our military doctors and nurses, but can positively impact the entire spectrum of U.S. civilian health care.

In a recent speech on the subject, Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, said, “…the conflict we are in is the longest America has waged with an all-volunteer force since the Revolutionary war…when a young American steps forward of his own free will to serve, he or she does so with the expectation that they and their families will be properly taken care of should something happen on the battlefield. After the wars themselves, I have no higher priority.”

Other than those on the fringe-left, I know of no person who does not believe Mr. Gates to be his own man. From his lengthy career with the Central Intelligence Agency, to his service in the Air Force, to his service with the National Security Council, to his stint as Director of Central Intelligence, to his recent sacking of the Air Force’s top military and civilian leaders for nuclear “mix-ups,” Gates has proven himself a man who places integrity and the good of the nation before partisanship.


Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of The Secessionist States of America. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014)

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