I recommend reading Rachel Maddow’s new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. It’s not a left-wing or right-wing book. It’s a cause and effect policy book, very unlike most broadcasters’ books. Roger Ailes of Fox News even recommends it. It’s an important analysis of the use of our military, how disconnected from it we have become, and what we might do to reengage civilians. War should not be easy, but it has become too easy.
Most of the wars we fight today are not about our freedom, and we need to stop fighting them. Our armed forces volunteer in case our freedom needs protecting. Even though we don’t have an active draft, all young men and many young women register for the draft at 18. The draft can be activated very quickly if needed.
But for about 40 years, America has sent our military to war. We as a country haven’t gone to war. We the civilian citizenry are too disconnected. We have come to peace with being at war.
I agree with all of your comments on my last post, except on a couple of points.
An all-volunteer military deserve to be thanked just as much as a draft military. Some of these service personnel volunteered prior to 9/11 to get a lot of help paying for college, or because it is a tradition in many families. They didn’t expect a decade long war.
Those who volunteered after 9/11 did so out of patriotism to fight those who attacked us. They didn’t have anything to do with the extremely poor decisions made by their command.
College is nearly unaffordable unless you’re rich, you have lots of scholarships, or the military pays for it. The GI Bill is how my dad went to college back in the 1960′s.
When we had the draft in the past, many who were drafted into the Army volunteered for one of the other 3 branches of service. Many who volunteered and ended up in this mess of wars did not voluntarily reenlist. They were retained against their will under the stop-loss rule. Iraq and Afghanistan effectively had a back-end draft. I know of a few people who have been deployed 7-8 times and are still up for redeployment.
We have to separate our disdain for a war from the soldiers who fight it. The soldiers don’t make the policies and send the troops into battle. They deserve a public thank you, and parades don’t cost that much. The St. Louis parade was set up by a couple of private citizens.
Thanking the troops is a totally different thing than condoning the wars they are ordered to fight. People did protest against Iraq but were stopped. It wasn’t safe to protest without possible severe personal consequences.
War is not the answer most of the time. But times arrive where some destruction needs doing. It was necessary to go into Afghanistan and get Osama bin Laden and his terrorists. That was nearly done in 4 months using mostly special forces when G.W. Bush turned the focus on Iraq.
We let bin Laden slip through our fingers, and we passed the 10-year mark in the Afghanistan war in 2011. The Iraq war went on for over 9 years before we left. President Obama got bin Laden, and is winding down our Afghanistan presence, albeit too slowly.
I pray we don’t start a war with Iran. I don’t think it would help the situation, and it would possibly encourage them to build a nuclear weapon. If we use diplomacy, we just might avoid them seeking nuclear warfare capability.