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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War

Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron
Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War
By William J. Astore
The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight.  Iraq is chaotic and scarred.  So, too, is Libya.  Syria barely exists.  After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter.  The Islamic State may be fracturing, but its various franchises are finding new and horrifying ways to replicate themselves and lash out.  Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it’s a wonder that key figures in the U.S. military or officials in any other part of America’s colossal national security state and the military-industrial complex (“the Complex” for short) haven’t spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch.
Yet they have remained remarkably mum when it comes to the obvious.  Such a blanket silence can’t simply be attributed to the war-loving nature of the U.S. military. Sure, its warriors and warfighters always define themselves as battle-ready, but the troops themselves don’t pick the fights.  Nor is it simply attributable to the Complex’s love of power and profit, though its members are hardly eager to push back against government decisions that feed the bottom line.  To understand the silence of the military in particular in the face of a visible crisis of war-making, you shouldn’t assume that, from private to general, its members don’t have complicated, often highly critical feelings about what’s going on. The real question is: Why they don’t ever express them publicly?
Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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