Friday, August 19, 2016

IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum

Whenever there is an election we're pretty much forgotten about. Candidates never seem to have any plans, or even understand what military, veterans and families, go through. Sure there are a lot of issues they have to pay attention to but we're all pretty tired of hearing how much they value us without ever seeing any proof of it. The IAVA is trying to do something about that.
IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum
Joint Candidate Event to Highlight National Security, Military and Veterans Issues
Live in Primetime on NBC and MSNBC on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

AUGUST 18, 2016 – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will host both major party presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, for a live televised primetime forum to focus exclusively on issues the next president will have to confront as Commander-in-Chief.

The event will take place in New York City and will be simulcast on NBC and MSNBC in primetime on the evening of September 7, 2016.

The candidates will appear back to back during the one-hour event. They will take questions on national security, military affairs and veterans issues from NBC News and an audience comprised mainly of military veterans and active service members.

“IAVA is proud to lead this historic event for our veterans community and all Americans,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IAVA. “On the cusp of the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New York is a fitting stage to give voice to American veterans and service members that are all too often shut out of our political debate. IAVA members world-wide, 93% of whom say they’ll be voting in November, and many deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, are ready to hear from the candidates and hold them accountable. IAVA is honored to join with NBC on this significant event that will ensure that America’s next Commander-in-Chief, at least for one night, addresses our nation’s moral obligation to support and empower its 22 million veterans, our servicemembers and our military families.”
learn more about IAVA here

They tried ranking politicians before but it did not do much good considering the rest of the population does not have a clue about any of the Bills politicians write. This time, we may get some answers. Hopefully they actually paid attention all along.

Among the questions I'd love to have answered are these.

What will the candidates do about housing civilians on military property?
Thirty-four other U.S. military installations have already brought in nonmilitary residents, and there have been no major security issues, said Mack Quinney, project director for the housing company.
And if they plan on ending this practice or leaving it the way it is?
In 2001, Fort Hood became the first U.S. military installation to hand over housing to a private operator when it entered into a deal with the Australia-based Lendlease Group to form the Fort Hood Family Housing company.

The deal has facilitated the building of hundreds of new homes on Fort Hood, where soldiers have complained about the quality of the housing stock, by allowing them to be financed with private construction bonds, Fort Hood and Lendlease officials said.

Do they plan on actually doing something about the rules and funding of the VA that Congress is in fact in charge of? 
When there is a backlog of claims, do they have any plans to make sure contractors hire to process the claims are not just trained to do it properly, but have enough staff to fulfill the commitment this country made to those who are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of her?
When private-contracted out doctors are evaluating claims, are there any plans to hold them accountable when they fail to put qualified practitioners in the positions or rate claims wrongly?

Do they have any plans to hold contractors accountable for failed programs, like suicide prevention, when clearly they do not work?  

Do they plan on hold any member of Congress publicly accountable for writing and funding Bills they pass when it has been tired and failed before.  Just look at the list of "suicide prevention" Bills coming out of congress in the last decade and you'll see what I mean.

Do they have any plans to hold veterans charities accountable?

Do they have any plans for holding the Joint Chiefs accountable for the rise in military suicides at the same time there has been a sharp reduction of enlisted personnel?

Do they have any plans for holding defense contractors accountable for the billions they receive for programs that do not work and do very little to prevent healing from traumas troops face?

What about ISIS, Iraq, Afghanistan, NATO, the rest of the world including humanitarian missions? Will anyone be held accountable for the mess we're in?

What do they plan on doing about Defense Contractors outnumbering military personnel?

Data compiled by the Congressional Research Service shows that private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan by more than a three to one margin.
The latest numbers covering just the first few months of this year show that there are still around 29,000 contractors in Afghanistan — well over three times the 9.000 troops.

The thing is, there are hundreds of questions all of us have, but unless these politicians are asked, we won't know if they even considered any of it or how much thought they gave to any of us.


  1. The focus of this forum is needed but the event is marred by the exclusion of third party candidates, particularly Gary Johnson who was favored over both Trump and Clinton in a recent poll of active duty military personnel. This was an Internet poll and therefore unscientific but there is a considerable body of evidence dating back two election cycles that those who most directly face the effects of war or are most likely to face those effects show greater support than the general public toward non-interventionist candidates. There are articles being published critical of Johnson's exclusion from the forum. A protest is being planned to take place at the forum site on Sept. 7.

    1. It is surprising that veterans are even being the total subject of a debate at all. Considering how little has been covered in debates before, hopefully it will be a good thing. But you are right and all the nominees should have their thoughts heard as well.


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