"Vets for Freedom" Offers a Template for the Loyal Opposition

Captain Pete Hegseth of the Minnesota National Guard was deployed in Iraq in 2005-06. After returning he helped found Vets for Freedom, whose mission is “to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts” in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group is officially non-partisan, but based on their mission, it’s not too hard to guess which Presidential candidate they preferred.

As Hegseth writes this week in National Review Online (which for some reason still lists him as a lieutenant):

Our group, Vets for Freedom, ran millions of dollars’ worth of television and radio advertising this year that directly challenged Obama’s policies toward Iraq and the surge. We aggressively instigated his return trip to Iraq and called on him to tell the truth about the success of the surge. We believed his stated policy prescriptions for Iraq were outdated and pressured him to reconsider his rigid timeline for withdrawal.

Then Obama won. Now what?

But on Inauguration Day, our approach will change—as a candidate becomes our commander-in-chief. We will not do to President Obama what others did to President Bush. Our brothers are still in harm’s way, and Obama is their commander-in-chief, just as he is ours.

We will support President Obama whenever possible, persuade him at decisive and deliberative moments, and constructively oppose him when he pursues policies we deem detrimental to battlefield success. Success on the battlefield—as well as the health of our military—must be our lodestar, as we seek to help our new president defend our nation.

Thank you for your wise counsel, Captain Hegseth, and for your service to our country.