Lebanon - 1983 - 241 (307)
Riyadh - 1996 - 19
Aden - 2000 - 17
Arlington - 2001 - 55 (254)
Killeen - 2009 - 12 (13)
We, the American people, and in particular our military leadership, have experienced a failure to train.
In 26 years, we have had five mass casualty events, perpetrated by Muslim terrorists, on service members in supposedly safe and secure facilities, outside of declared combat zones.
Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have been killed in their quarters, and their recreation spaces.
In most cases, this occurred while we were unarmed... or rather, disarmed by the policies of our leadership.
I speak of being disarmed both literally, and figuratively. We know who perpetrates terrorist attacks. We know how to deal with them... largely we know how to prevent the most common vectors.
We are not allowed to do so, for reasons of politics.
In 26 years, we have not had a mass casualty event that was NOT perpetrated by muslims (most of whom have been arabs). This does not, in any way, mean that all muslims, or all arabs, are terrorists, or that all terrorists are muslims (or arabs).
I'm Irish by ethnicity. My father is Irish born and raised. I know better.
But we are not allowed to say such things, because of politics.
There are many commentaries around the net today, and for the past few days, on the terrorist mass murder at Ft. Hood. They are full of those things that people say after such an event. They recognize the heroism. They mourn the dead. They ask "why?".
I'm not going to do that. Oh I honor our dead, and our heroes, and I mourn... but I don't need to join the chorus.
Other people can do that. They're good at it. I've got something just as important to do... something that maybe not everyone has the stomach for.
I choose instead to castigate, because we know the answer to that last question.
We know why. We know why he did it (why they did it in fact). We know why it was successful. We know why it was a mass casualty event, rather than a quick "suicide by soldier".
We even know how to prevent it... at least much of the time; and certainly we know how to end such things quickly.
I was serving in the Air Force (stateside) during the Khobar attacks. I remember. Though I did not know any of those who died personally, THEY KILLED MY BROTHERS.
I remember what our leadership did about it (and more importantly, what they did not).
I remember what we were not, under any circumstances, ALLOWED to do about it.
It has happened three times since. By the same perpetrators. With the same indicators. Allowed, because of the same policies.
We have failed to train.
Today, most American service members, in most American military facilities around the world, go about their days; not UN-armed, but DIS-armed.
Disarmed, both physically, and mentally.
Disarmed by politics, and political correctness.
Today, our service members cannot, in most places, carry weapons to defend themselves; though I am free to do so as a retired service member in most places... one notable exception being military installations.
Today, we are not able to use the most effective techniques to stop terrorism: including psychological and sociological profiling, taking consideration of ethnic, religious, and national background.
It can be, in fact, a crime to do so, in both cases.
The Israelis think we are mad.
Hell, the Saudis think we are mad...
The whole world does.
Yes, political correctness is all well and good for the papers and the public; but when it comes to soldiers defending themselves... Hypocrisy has it's uses after all. The world of realpolitik knows that... we pretend otherwise.
Already, the drumbeats have not only begun, but are in full force: "This is not about islam", "Armed soldiers couldn't have prevented this", "We can't use profiling", "It's racist to even think about that", "there could have been even more casualties with stray shots" etc... etc...
As it happens, I agree with that IN PART; in that this appears to not be a case of organized Islamicist terrorism.
But to say Islam has nothing to do with this, is simply blinding ones self, for the purposes of political correctness... or to make one feel less "racist", or whatever you want to call it (islam is not a race).
Simply put, were this terrorist a christian caucasian, he would have been stopped long before it ever went this far. We've become good at weeding out the bad ones... unless they are "minorities" in which case we are forced by political correctness to ignore the fact that they ARE bad ones, irrespective of their minority status.
Even if he hadn't been stopped before he started; if soldiers were allowed to go armed for self defense, his spree would have been stopped in the first minute.
We have failed to train.
There is verse in the bible (Romans 6:23) which says in part "The wages of sin is death".
The military has a variant on that... I call it the Sergeants maxim "The wages of stupidity is to be fucked up beyond all recognition".
In the Air Force, when you fail to train, you're done. You can't play, if you don't learn from your mistakes, if you don't learn to do the job, if you don't keep giving everything you've got.
You can't play if you quit; and if you fail to train, you have simply quit, passive aggressively.
If we intend to keep playing this game, we can no longer fail to train.