Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The American Military Fetish

The Daily Kos published a rather unusual Memorial Day article, with which I agree totally. What do you think?

What could be sadder than a general without a war? We have 42 four star generals or admirals in the US...and that's just the top dogs, the four stars. There are tons more of the lesser generals. How many of them do you suppose would care to serve their entire careers during peace time? None of them is my guess. So from within the ranks of the military itself there is significant pressure for going to war. Call it the 'when you have a hammer the whole world is a nail' principle.

The article goes on to mention the defense contractors and their lobbyists, who I believe are the real culprits.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. How many of them do you suppose would care to serve their entire careers during peace time? None of them is my guess.

    I'm going with "all of them"

  2. I'm gonna disagree.

    In terms of career advancement, war is very good for junior and mid-level officers. But they have no say whether or not to go to war.

    OTOH, war is fraught with untold dangers for flag officers--they're like football coaches, it's far easier to fire the coach than the team.

    Contrary to poular belief, the military has little input as to whether to go to war or not.

    An interesting article:


  3. Mike W., Are you of the opinion that there is not one 4-star general who fits the stereotype of the war hawk who always wants us to wage wars?

  4. A recent post, The American Military Fetish by The Daily Kos, and posted on the website of MikeB302000, posed the question if having a large group of career military officers encourages America to go to war. While MikeB and The Daily Kos are on the right tract, as the director Eugene Jarecki of the 2008 documentary film Why We Fight and the author of The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril, the problem is much more engrained into American society.

    The large amount of Four Star generals in the seven federal uniformed services is more a reflection of the out of control size of the Pentagon and the military industrial complex that former four star general and two term republican President warned Americans about in his 1961 farewell address to Congress. As he declared in his 1961 speech, the greatest danger to the American republic is the acquisition of unwarranted influence from within the military industrial complex. A prime example of a source of unwarranted and unelected representatives influencing and advocating the use of military power are think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the Rand Corporation.

    Although it would be difficult for most people to read the amount of books I have read on this subject, perhaps if they watched the movie Why We Fight, most Americans would getter a better understanding of why the United States has such a large military and why it goes to war so often.

  5. Mike, do you even remember who started this war?
    It was Bush, and his appointees in the information services.
    It wasn't the military. They didn't push for it.

    A number of high-level retired officers came out against it--probably with the support of serving comrades who aren't allowed to publicly disagree with the doofus-in-chief.