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Our military power is not something to shy away from, nor apologize for

In the article “In Hagel, Kerry, a wariness of war” (Page A1, Jan. 8), this nation’s recent forays are portrayed by some observers as “military adventurism,” a “distraction,” or “stupid engagements.”

Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and professor of military history at Ohio State University, said that it is unlikely that Chuck Hagel or John F. Kerry would “recommend going to war in the manner that the Bush administration did,” and said that Kerry would require a “sound strategy, a clear mission, and the resources to get the job done.”

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These slams of US policy imply that our government goes to war lightly, with reckless abandon.

I see it differently. Our leaders lack the courage (as in most instances) to come clean with our true objectives. These, more often than not, are in civilization’s best interests.

Look at a world map: Vietnam, a foothold in the Pacific Rim to counter repressive regimes; Iraq and Afghanistan (and Israel), strategic and tactical presences smack dab in the middle of a turbulent region. These efforts unequivocally combat the spread of terrorism and deter catastrophic disruption of international commerce.

Maybe we are unable to face up to the fact that our worldview is a bit grander, if not more altruistic, than, say, the Taliban’s or other religious-based fanatics. However, we should never shy away from exercising power, nor apologize for it.

Bert Myer

Stratham, N.H.

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