The US military's first purpose is not to wage war (was: Loving The Troops)

Joseph S Barrera III
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 13:15:13 -0800

Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Thursday, Mar 20, 2003, at 14:52 US/Central, Bill Stoddard wrote:
>> Russell Turpin wrote:
>>> The US military's first purpose is to present
>>> a demonstrated capability of waging war. To use
>>> the analogy to a pistol, if you ever go to use
>>> it in a confrontation, things are already screwed
>>> up more than you would ever hope.
>>> Someone who measures the US military by its recent
>>> wars would find a very mixed record. They almost
>>> all represent failures of policy and diplomacy,
>>> and the ones that aren't examples of military
>>> action that should have been avoided often are
>>> bollixed by military action that should have been
>>> made sooner. That's not too surprising. Wars
>>> stem from collosal failure.
>>> But that's the wrong way to judge the US
>>> military. You have to also look at what was
>>> enabled without active warfare. NATO never fought
>>> the USSR, but it did safeguard west Europe during
>>> the cold war. The US stopped fighting North Korea
>>> a half century past, but its continued military
>>> presence is the sole reason for South Korea's
>>> continued existence. The US military also enables
>>> Japan to remain a largely pacifist nation. These
>>> are large successes, representing significant
>>> martial effort, in areas where the US did not
>>> engage in war during those periods.
>>> Of course, even outside the wars fought, the US
>>> military has been put to some dreadful uses.
>>> Defoliating forests in Colombia does little
>>> besides sicken and impoverish poor people, and
>>> denude natural habitat. My point isn't to paint
>>> everything sweetness and light, but to enlarge
>>> the scope by which people sometimes look at the
>>> military, especially during the time of a
>>> controversial war. One can reasonably hold both
>>> (a) that THIS war is misguided, or even that most
>>> US wars have been misguided, yet (b) the US
>>> military serves critical and legitimate purpose,
>>> and service in it is honorable.
>> Russell,
>> Thanks you. A voice of reason in the mindless forest.
> Agreed!
> jb

There really is no excuse for not trimming
quoted material down to a minimum before posting.

- Joe