Combat doesn't a president make

Something's been nagging at me about the prominence of military issues in this year's presidential campaign. As has been widely noted on this website and elsewhere in the media, Sen. John Kerry has predicated his run for the White House almost entirely on his short, though eventful, tour on board U.S. Navy riverine patrol boats in Vietnam. He famously "reported for duty" at last month's Democratic convention in Boston. But combat service does not a president make. Why? Start with the obvious. Kerry was a junior officer in Vietnam. His duties, like those of all junior officers, were overwhelmingly technical in nature and focused on the tactical level of war. He didn't glean much insight into politics and strategy——the province of presidents and their advisers——while serving in Indochina. I speak from experience. Like Sen. Kerry, I served a combat tour as a Navy lieutenant, in my case as gunnery officer in the battleship Wisconsin during the first Gulf War. I...(Read Full Article)