Stop Posing as US Policy Experts

Today a buddy of mine wrote on Facebook, “Had no idea so many of my friends were foreign policy and national security experts. Good to know…” -Michael. BoOM! Nail on head.

I’m not writing this to ruffle any feathers, take sides, or offend anyone. That said, I’ve noticed a load of chatter and opinion regarding who’s what, what should’ve happened, and what’s what about our foreign policy. To be blunt, most of us pretty much don’t know anything about foreign affairs or national security, and we’re not supposed to.

Many of us love politics and current events, and watch a lot of TV for as much information as we can inhale. Having an affection for current events and politics, however, doesn’t make us experts on foreign policy or national security.

It bothers me to no end when policy makers publicly declare an exit strategy or promise an evacuation date. How could any declaration be true? Why wouldn’t any faction use this information against their enemy? Consider this: what if President Lincoln or General Lee publicly proclaimed, “You know, we’re coming up the Black River in August, and if we don’t reach our objective by late August we’re coming home.” It just doesn’t register.

Remember when Geraldo drew a map with a stick in the dirt revealing where American troops were located in relation to the enemy, on national cable television (CNN)?  Seriously? The camera man should’ve hit him in the head and stepped on the dirt map.

Consider this, too. If Osama bin Laden had been on Twitter the night he was killed, he might have fired up a nearby jet pack and flown away (or whatever). If you didn’t know, before the American Navy SEALs dropped into bin Laden’s compound, someone Tweeted about the helicopters overhead, which could’ve altered the mission and reversed the outcome.

What I’m getting at is, just because you’re passionate and watch a lot of FOXNews or CNBC, or follow some influencial folks all day on Facebook, you’re not experts at pretty much anything regarding foriegn policy. It’s ok, as none of us are supposed to be.

In short, when we Blog, Tweet, or “Update” our Facebook pages with sound bites about national security and the like, it’s an obvious grab to tear down the other side at any expense. After all, most of the folks reading the posts are educated enough to know that you don’t know all of the specific details of much of anything, and therefore the post is strictly and blindly partisan.

Even further, the seemingly most outspoken folks have no idea where our military bases are, the amount of ammunition in the area, the culture, the vehicles available, the govnernment structure, the topography, international law, local customs, or even what they eat. Some of this matters, and some doesn’t, but what I’m getting at is that it’s just not as simple as “Kick His Ass, Sea Bass! WOOOOOOO!”

Again, I’m not typing to ruffle feathers. I simply want my friends to know how their comments are coming across to their friends.


  1. Michael: Sarcasm is a cheap and ugly form of humor.

  2. Much like those that consider themselves experts on a subject they, nor I know nothing about.

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