Mr. President, thank you very much for canceling Nancy Pelosi’s worthless trip to Afghanistan.
Believe me, the last thing the majority of troops want to see is Nancy Pelosi, an official who has done nothing but call for the cutting funding for the military and was part of the gang that cut military retirement benefits, during wartime, a few years ago. However, there are quite a few more reasons as to why President Trump, again, has done a good thing.
These visits by Congressional delegations are mostly dog and pony shows. Troops have to spend hours or even days preparing for a high-level visitor, which take away from what troops should be focusing on; fighting the enemy and using whatever spare time they have to communicate with their loved ones.
Most of these preparations that troops undergo for the convenience of a visitor like Pelosi are worthless, such as cleaning up living areas and give a false impression to those visiting. War is ugly. War is dirty. Let the troops live as they live. And if you want to really learn what the troops think, dignitaries should not go to the big bases and talk to the highest-ranking individuals. Go on a long trip, go the smallest of bases with Special Operations troops and infantry, away from their commanders, and live as they live for a while. Even better, go to the natives under the same conditions. T.E. Lawrence knew this.
Speaker Pelosi did not say much about Afghanistan during the time of the shutdown until her trip was canceled. With her previous record, it is not likely Ms. Pelosi really knows what it would take to win in an unconventional war such as Afghanistan. The short length of her trip ironically used a defense of her visit by CNN, shows that Afghanistan is not a priority for Pelosi.
The current Speaker of the House can go back to what she does best, giving talking points to a CNN trying so hard to nail the President on this trip cancellation that the network talks about equal branches of government and even reverently refers to the wishes of the Founding Fathers in making this argument.
Troops do not see the picture of the Speaker of the House in the chain of command. If the Speaker wants to hear about the war conduct a real visit that exposes you to real danger, for a significant time, with the troops actually doing the fighting. Otherwise, stay out of their way and do your job at home so they can do theirs.
Larry Provost served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and Iraq. Views reflected are his own and are not the views of the Department of Defense or any other government agency.