American society has always been deeply connected to our military, even if that connection changes as time goes on. Our attitudes aren’t the same about it as they were during the Vietnam era, and even more different during the WWII/Korea era. I firmly believe that a society can be deeply reflected by examining its attitudes towards military service.
Up until 1973, every war Americans fought and died in require conscription to a certain extent (otherwise known as the draft.) This means that during those wars, both volunteers and those compelled to military service fought side by side. That means that every deployment of US forces since the end of the Vietnam War has been fought purely by volunteers. It also means that after the end of the draft, it reduced the number of opinions in the pool of those who determine where and when US troops go. Specifically, since servicemembers from today’s military usually comes from the South or West and generally are lower middle class, it reduced the cost of war to only those sectors of American society. Yes, the occasional famous and or rich person might service (Pat Tillman and Beau Biden are the best recent examples I can remember,) but overall, the pain of war has been reduced to those communities. So if war is only paid by certain classes and it’s those other classes that determine when and where we make war, why not have endless wars? And of course the companies that make the most money from endless war (Haliburton, KBR, Raytheon, General Dynamics, etc.) have no interest in ceasing such a profitable business.
This is one of many subjects Danny and I intend to examine in our podcast. We want our listeners to hear the truth about military service and understand who really pays the most, in wages and blood, when it comes to waging war and who gets paid the most. A recent Military.com article I saw referenced 4,000 troops from Fort Carson are heading to Afghanistan in 2018. For a seventeen year war, in a place that once had over 100,000 troops at one time (to almost no success over time,) it is not going to be significantly changed by so few troops. But that means more American lives in jeopardy, and again as I stressed earlier, the deaths and wounds of these troops will not be felt by our upper classes. They will count their large stacks of money and continue to lobby Congress to buy more weapons and deploy more troops, all the while having no real skin in the game. That’s to say nothing of the foreign national deaths that our long occupations of the Middle East have caused. Hundred of thousands killed and many more than that wounded. And please understand I’m not talking about Taliban deaths or other enemy combatant deaths. I’m talking about innocent people caught between our forces and the people those forces are sent to fight. Clearly, our leaders do not see these lives or their loss to be any kind of a moral question. Often, the only moral question these leaders might have is how many dead ‘terrorists’ we have killed. And to many of them, every dead Arab is a ‘terrorist.’
Please come join our conversation and help us bring an end to the ignorance that continues the losses of both American and foreign national lives.