Monday, June 28, 2010

Endless War

Via TPM, a very perceptive piece by Andrew Bacevich on the effect of seemingly endless conflicts on the military.

The Long War is not America's war. It belongs exclusively to "the troops," lashed to a treadmill that finds soldiers and Marines either serving in a combat zone or preparing to deploy.

To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama's insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely "at" war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: "Americans don't flinch in the face of difficult truths." In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths. Largely unaffected by events in Afghanistan and Iraq and preoccupied with problems much closer to home, they have demonstrated a fine ability to tune out war. Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. The Constitution and the Second Amendment were designed to keep the military in check by having the institution of a militia rather than the standing army. The founders envisioned a system like that of Switzerland where the regular/professional army was small and served the purposes of training and general governance. The Militia/amateur segment was the bulk of the DEFENSE forces.

    There has been a movement since WWII in the US to have a strong military, which is contrary to the founder's intent.

    I find it interesting that the predominance of the military and the concept of "gun rights" parallels each other.

    This would be a fascinating topic for some historian to elaborate upon.

  2. There a several books I have read by Bacevich that I would highly recommend. Limits of Power, his latest book, is an easy read at just under 200 pages.