Letter: President artless on war

I was saddened by our president's Sept. 10, 15-minute TV presentation. His concept of military subjects and functions would have Sun Tzu, the author of "The Art of War," turning in his 2,500-year-old grave.

Could the president's idea of being a member of the armed services be accurate? I was not aware that there was such a thing as "non-combat troops." In my day, during the Korean conflict, ALL troops were combat troops (even latrine orderlies), always aware that actual combat might only be a minute away (Pearl Harbor, Yalu River, Tet Offensive). Are "non-combat troops" issued opt-out passes or pink uniforms in case of a surprise attack?

So the president actually defaulted on both sides of this "terrorist" war: our resolve and our objective. Our resolve by broadcasting what we won't do (no combat troops on the ground) and our objective by stating what we will do (destroy a relatively new military organization). We have been on defense for over 40 years and we still can't define what victory looks like.

I urge the president to spend some of his precious time in reading a modern version of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." His generals and admirals have undoubtedly already studied it deeply.

O. L. Barnett

Kingman