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Leaders Mentor Us To Do The Right Thing. They Don’t Mention The Costs
“But there’s always a price to be paid. That’s the thing nobody ever tells you as a young officer at Quantico. It’s easy for the instructors there to tell lieutenants to, ‘always do the right thing.’ What they don’t tell you is that if that right thing bucks the system, [leaders] have to be willing to pay that freight all the way to the end of the line—and that end of the line is the end of your career. They don’t tell you that when you speak out, the institution you love with turn on your and attack you. People you think are your friends will slink off into the shadows and abandon you. It will come at the expense of your family, your future, your sanity, and your financial well-being. On the hard, controversial issues, most big institutions don’t want you to do the right thing. They want you to shut the fuck up and row.”
—Joe Plenzler, quoted in Lt. Col. Kate Germano's Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines are Trained.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.