December 21, 2006
President Bush announced at a news conference yesterday his plans to expand the size of the American military. With so many challenges and threats facing the country, this is an excellent idea and has taken too long.
Following the cold war, the Clinton administration dramatically reduced the size of the military, believing the six decade threat of communism had passed and no other enemies threatened the United States. That was a mistake, which I said at the time. There will always be enemies and a military cannot be built overnight.
There needs to be a campaign to persuade more young people to join the armed services. Military service is a noble calling. Freedom isn’t free and has always been paid for in time, in commitment and in blood. The public should begin seeing military service as a valuable contribution to the freedom we enjoy and encourage their and other young people to spend two or three years in service and even choose the military as a career.
I have met servicemen and women all over the world. Thank a serviceman or woman for their service. And then encourage others to join them.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.