[EXCLUSIVE OP-ED] NC Native, US Army Sgt. Mike Verardo (Ret.): A Vote for Biden is a Vote for War

(Sgt. Mike Verardo, U.S. Army (retired) and member of the Veterans for Trump coalition advisory board.)

Foreign policy is not driving the conversation in this election, but perhaps it ought to.

Of all the smears Joe Biden’s supporters have launched at President Trump over the past month, this latest — that somehow the President is turning a blind eye to American soldiers being killed abroad — is the most absurdly hypocritical.

As vice president, Joe Biden oversaw the drawn-out and bloody tail-end of the Iraq War (which he voted to initiate), an almost equally bloody escalation in Afghanistan from 2009-2012, and a foolhardy intervention in Libya that led to open-air slave markets and a refugee crisis — not to mention the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, which the Obama-Biden administration inexplicably blamed on a YouTube video.

Biden has waffled and “misspoken” about his role in starting the Iraq War. He has never once, however, repudiated his role in supporting the wider interventionist strategy of the Bush and Obama years — nor any of the other little wars in which he, President Obama, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entangled America. These “endless wars” provided virtually no tangible benefit to American interests, yet the U.S. military suffered an order of magnitude more combat deaths than they have under the less bellicose leadership of President Donald Trump.

America’s sons and daughters gave their country the last full measure of devotion in these forever wars — wars stalled out by ineffective leadership and archaic rules of engagement. President Trump sought to honor the sacrifice of our Fallen, ensure the very best care for our wounded, and to end wars that wouldn’t seem to end.

In office, he has kept those promises to the letter. As commander-in-chief, President Trump has scaled back our involvement in the interminable Afghan conflict, checked Iranian aggression with targeted strikes on the Islamic Republic’s worst offenders, and overseen the utter destruction of the Islamic State’s upstart terrorist empire in Syria and Iraq. Most importantly, he has accomplished all this without a return to the unacceptably-high death toll that took the lives of so many American service members during Biden’s first term as vice president.

It is the height of irony, then, that The New York Times, the entire White House Press Corps, and a bevy of Biden Campaign surrogates are now using an unverified intelligence report that the Russian government was allegedly offering Afghan terrorists bounties for killing U.S. soldiers to suggest that President Trump is somehow indifferent to the deaths of American soldiers.

By all indications, the report is just one piece of unremarkable raw intelligence that was deliberately and strategically leaked in an attempt to make the President look bad. But — for argument’s sake — let’s take the smear at face value for a moment. Are liberals actually suggesting that President Trump doesn’t care about American soldiers because he didn’t raise an international incident over a single piece of unverified intelligence? Have they forgotten he’s in the midst of getting American troops out of harm’s way in Afghanistan?

Just as with Hillary Clinton in 2016, a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for knee-jerk interventionism and endless wars. He’s not even making much of an effort to hide it, refusing throughout the campaign to repudiate his early pledge to remove Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad from power — the surest path for America to get itself into another bloody morass in the Middle East. Throughout nearly five decades in politics, Biden never met a war he didn’t like, despite his fanciful claim that he got involved in politics because he was a Vietnam dove.

Donald Trump is not just “the peace candidate” in the 2020 race; he is the proven peace candidate in the 2020 race. He is running for reelection as arguably the first president since Ronald Reagan to have kept America from getting involved in a single new major conflict abroad. No selectively-leaked intelligence report can change the facts and reverse the foreign policy poles of this election.

(Sgt. Mike Verardo, U.S. Army (retired) and member of the Veterans for Trump coalition advisory board.)

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