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Should the Kids of Presidents, VPs be Sent Into Combat?

Snafu-Bar

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George Wallace said:
Let's see.

The US bungled an attempt to rescue the US Embassy hostages in Iran.  Perhaps you remember the movie BlackHawk Down, as well.  Do you want someone in power put in a position where they may make a decision to order a similar attempt?  What would the British have resorted to, had Prince Harry been captured?

As for not negotiating with terrorists; the Italians have.  The Spanish have withdrawn troops from Afghanistan.  The French are already seeing the results of the 10 KIA, in that some French Troops are refusing to go to Afghanistan.  There are segments of the Canadian Public crying for us to bring Canadian Troops home.  So don't kid yourself on the influences that the enemy can apply to people in power, or the society as a whole.


Well I am aware of the implications of having people of significant importance in harms way. It also has an effect on the descision making process for obvious reasons, but those people also went there of thier own choosing and as such should be treated like any other soldier when making the next move.

I also pointed out the media factor on issues like this and that directly stimulates the end populace, thus you end up with a damend if we do or don't situation.

Ultimately it comes down to the country and the people in charge as to how best to put thier kids in the forces while minimizing the impact of such an event ever arising. The Brits would go hell bent on getting the prince back safe and sound and as such would do whatever they deemed to be the most discrete and safe way to achieve mission success. The same would go for pretty much any country if the situations arose.

Picture the US capturing osama's kids and then putting up the cease or else flags...what do you think would be the end result.... endless Jihad. What do they do to get people released? We do not do such things when it comes to these situations. It's what seperates us from them.

Cheers
 

George Wallace

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I really wish people would READ.

George Wallace said:
.............but that is not the argument.  It isn't the fact that these children shouldn't serve as anyother member of the society; but the fact that their capture or death could be used to influence a person in a position of power and decision making. 

So, once again, the argument is not that the children shouldn't make up their own minds of whether or not to serve.  The argument is about the influences that an unforseen death or capture of the child of a prominent and powerful political figure would have on decision making. 

You have already seen decisions made in the US, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Holland and here at home due to Taliban and Terrorist activities.  Do you need to create situations that may further complicate those decisions, or perhaps create a situation where poor or rash decisions may be made?
 

OldSolduer

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Add to the fact that some elements of the media are only too willing to "out" these offspring of the so called "elite" of society. We've seen this in Prince Harry's case.
 

tomahawk6

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Combat is the big equalizer.It doesnt matter if your dad is CEO of a bank or a Senator or a janitor everyone shares the same dangers/risks. During Vietnam the left argued that only the poor served because the upper class kids could get a college deferment.It wasnt true but its the image of the draft as being unfair.So we now have an all volunteer force.You serve because you want to not because you have to.

Going back to George's comment that the death or capture of the son of a prominent member of society certainly is valid if a nation is not behind the war effort. But it also dispels the myth that its only the poor or middle class class kids that are shouldering the burden.

I think the MOD should let Harry serve in combat if his unit deploys.The monarchy gets alot of negative press.There are those that feel that it has no place in modern society.However the image of a serving Royal sharing the same dangers as everyone else is powerful and does wonders for morale.
 

crystalrh

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Just adding a point here... Yes, it dangers the "celebrity soldier", and it would have an effect on the decisions of their parent (Pres., VP, PM, etc.). But if the person wants to fight, may it be Prince Harry, or whomever, they can.
But if the enemy hears word of a son/daughter being deployed, would they not be gunning for this person so they can have the upperhand? and does that not put the target's fellow soldiers in more danger?
This is harsh, but the way I see it... for example: If the Prince decides he wants to fight, then he fights as any other, not as a Prince. If he gets caught between fire, there's no "evacuate the Prince!" deal. His commanding officers don't treat him any better or any worse than they would treat any other soldier. If he decides to be a Prince, then he can do so, but not on the field. And if he decides to be a soldier, than he's a soldier. The 'Prince' gets left back at the palace!
I don't agree with letting "The Kids" fight (all the points listed previously, including others posts), but they are still citizens of the country they would be fighting for.
 

Gager

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Not really the point ...

He could be convinced he was Santa Claus himself, but to the enemy, to the public and to the majority of the leadership he is seen as an important figure. Personally, to me he is just another soldier that belongs to a vestigial institution - but since I am not in an overall strategic decision making process, my opinion means SFA.

The leadership doesn't want an ultimatum thrown on them from the enemy and the public doesn't want to watch the video of Prince Harry being beheaded on YouTube. While a good deal of us would not want an entire conflict to go sideways because of one soldier who happens to be political leverage, I guarantee you people's perceptions would change would that situation arise. People in power - I'd like to say they were above it but they are people too and I would not expect them to all be stalwart and uncompromising.

It is a complicated issue. I still have to disagree with the original post though. As Daft said doing the opposite would be cowardly. We take risks in war and this is one of them. If a leader is unable to lead after something like the above happening, they should be removed. I'm tempted to believe that if they could not rebound then they probably weren't much of a leader anyway - but I'm not a father and I have not lost a son so I'll withold judgement.
 

geo

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let's face it, the son / daughter / nephew / niece are in no more danger than anyone else - so long as the media keeps their nose out of it & do not bring untoward attention to the poor sod.

They face the exact same danger as the other troops facing the TB / AQ / Whatever.

The fun starts if & when they are captured alive and someone spills the beans about the identity of their captive.
 

GAP

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OldSolduer said:
Add to the fact that some elements of the media are only too willing to "out" these offspring of the so called "elite" of society. We've seen this in Prince Harry's case.

If the Force can minimize/avoid the exposure, then the son/daughter serving  becomes a non issue....they are just like anyone else. Otherwise, let them serve, but, if the MSM is going to be reporting on them, let them serve where they do not bring the other soldiers into any more danger than is necessary...
 

dapaterson

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It's always a non-issue.  If President Schnookums feels different about sending his own sons and daughters to battle than he feels about sending those of anyone else, he's unfit for the job.
 

armyvern

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dapaterson said:
It's always a non-issue.  If President Schnookums feels different about sending his own sons and daughters to battle than he feels about sending those of anyone else, he's unfit for the job.

True that, but then again ...

To expect President Schnookums to react any differently from the parents of other children who were killed or taken captive if the same fate befell his own offspring would be a little haughty too wouldn't it? I'd imagine any parent would be shaken if that were to occur, but the luxury of one's office would necessitate Mr. Schnookums to forego a little "off-time" those other parents would surely require or be permitted to gather their wits about them - or to grieve.

After all, Schnookums isn't just an ordinary parent ... he's got a country he still has to run.

So, on the one hand it'd be "your kid can serve like all normal kids", but don't expect to forego your job for a little bit like "normal" should the worst happen to yours.

I'm torn on this one. Being the President for example is not "normal" - and it is the president's ability to effectively serve the nation that is in question. We'd want his offspring treated like normal, but if anything ever did happen to them - we'd expect that he'd carry on in a "presidential manner" and keep right at work instead of being affected by the situation exactly as any other normal person/parent would. Is it really fair of us to expect ANY parent to have that ability? I think that is the real issue - vice it being one of just "not wanting" their own offspring to serve in hostilities.
 

Greymatters

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Comparisons between the sons of 'important' people with Prince Harry are unrealistic.  Prince Harry will, barring unforessen circumstances or death, be in line to inherit the crown upon the death of his elders in the future.  In contrast, there is no guarantee that any children of important people will inherit the position of CEO, President, Ambassador, Senator or Director. 

Personally, no one's child is so important that they should be barred from serving their country out of personal choice.







 

baboon6

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I think it's worth mentioning that in the First World War both the Prime Minister (Herbert Asquith) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (Canadian-born Andrew Bonar Law) of Britain lost sons killed in action. In fact two of Bonar Law's sons were killed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Asquith

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Bonar_Law
 

armyvern

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Greymatters said:
Comparisons between the sons of 'important' people with Prince Harry are unrealistic.  Prince Harry will, barring unforessen circumstances or death, be in line to inherit the crown upon the death of his elders in the future.  In contrast, there is no guarantee that any children of important people will inherit the position of CEO, President, Ambassador, Senator or Director. 

Personally, no one's child is so important that they should be barred from serving their country out of personal choice.

Again, I don't think the issue is one of "barring" or "not letting" the CHILD partcipate based upon their Parents' position or because of their parents' position.

I think the issue is: The ABILITY of the parent to continue perform, unabated, in duties of nation leading and warfare conducting SHOULD their serving child be killed or taken prisoner.

HOW do you guarantee that ANY parent could continue to perform their duties in a situation whereby a child is being held hostage by the Taliban etc? ANY parent would freakout and lose their wits for a bit (usually much longer) ... you expect that the President wouldn't do the same? Would that President then be EFFECTIVE? That's human nature ... and I think that's the arguement Eisenhower is presenting.

It's nothing to do with the child's service --- it's all about the President's ability to constantly CONTINUE to be effective despite any such fate befalling their child should their child happen to be serving.
 

OldSolduer

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When your kid is KIA, rational thought processes stop. A leader of a nation may well have to step aside for a time.....and now the enemy has the initiative. They have forced a national figure to step aside and let someone else lead.
As for the children of the "elite" serving....no problem. But the MSM will hound them and dog them every step of the way.
 

dapaterson

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Greymatters said:
Comparisons between the sons of 'important' people with Prince Harry are unrealistic.  Prince Harry will, barring unforessen circumstances or death, be in line to inherit the crown upon the death of his elders in the future.

Only if he kills his older brother...
 

Shamrock

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ArmyVern said:
I think the issue is: The ABILITY of the parent to continue perform, unabated, in duties of nation leading and warfare conducting SHOULD their serving child be killed or taken prisoner.

If the parent is unable or unwilling to shoulder the equal burthen he or she imposes or perpetuates upon the citizenry, he or she is not representing the interests of the entire nation.
 

GAP

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Shamrock said:
If the parent is unable or unwilling to shoulder the equal burthen he or she imposes or perpetuates upon the citizenry, he or she is not representing the interests of the entire nation.

That's garbage.

Joe Blow is not going to be constantly outed by the MSM, targetted specifically by the insurgents, etc....

It's not about not bearing the burden, it's about common sense....

(Many of the comments here are by people who do not have kids and few have lost a child......it is painful beyond belief, and in many cases immobilises the grieving parent. The anger is phenomenal and the hurting does influence decisions.

That's not to say people can't and don't handle the situations well, they do. But in that time period before a coherent sanity returns much harm could be done.

I am not saying "Don't serve".....I am saying "Use common sense in deployment")
 

tomahawk6

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Most politicians are very sensitive to the potential  charge of preferential treatment for relatives or immediate family.
 

Shamrock

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GAP said:
That's garbage.

Joe Blow is not going to be constantly outed by the MSM, targetted specifically by the insurgents, etc....

Do you think parents would be willing to send their children into conflict knowing politico's children are given special status?

Are your children worth any less than Jack Layton's in their terms of service?
 

armyvern

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Shamrock said:
Do you think parents would be willing to send their children into conflict knowing politico's children are given special status?

Are your children worth any less than Jack Layton's in their terms of service?

Let's be clear - NO parent, president or otherwise, wants to send their own child or someone else's to war.

The goal is not to "give some child special status", but is rather to "ensure the ability of the president to remain in control of his faculties and effectivly lead during his term of governing the nation during a time of war."

Which IS more important to the Nation?

The removal of the child from the circumstances, is simply a by-product of the ultimate goal to ensure effective, concise and clear leadership is maintained. And, to also be clear - we're not talking about Jack Layton - we're talking about the President and the Vice President vice "every politico's child" (ie - in the realm of "Heads of State", not every elected person).
 
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