Don’t Count on Empire’s Generals to Avert Its Doomed Wars
Don’t Count on Empire’s Generals to Avert Its Doomed Wars by Danny Sjursen for CheckPoint Asia
For the generals it’s their career interest first — national and army interest last
“The American military, especially at the senior ranks, is apt to let you down whenever courage or moral fortitude is needed most”
Poll after poll indicates that the only public institution Americans still trust is the military. Not Congress, not the presidency, not the Supreme Court, the church, or the media. Just the American war machine.
But perhaps that faith in the U.S. Armed Forces is misplaced. I got to thinking about this recently after I wrote articles calling for dissent among military leaders in order to stop what seems to be a likely forthcoming war with Iran. While I still believe that dissent in the ranks stands the best chance of galvanizing an apathetic public against an ill-advised, immoral conflict in the Persian Gulf, I also know its a pipe dream.
These are company men, after all, obedient servants dedicated—no matter how much they protest otherwise—to career and promotion, as much or more than they are to the national interest.
The American military, especially at the senior ranks, is apt to let you down whenever courage or moral fortitude is needed most. In nearly 18 years of post-9/11 forever war, not a single general has resigned in specific opposition to what many of them knew to be unwinnable, unethical conflicts. Writing about the not-so-long-ago Vietnam War, former national security advisor H.R. McMaster, himself a problematic war on terror general, labeled in his book title such military acquiescence Dereliction of Duty. That it was, but so is the lack of moral courage and logical reasoning among McMaster and his peers who have submissively waged these endless wars in Americans’ name.
Think on it: of the some 18 general officers who have commanded the ill-fated, ongoing war in Afghanistan, each has optimistically promised not only that victory was possible, but that it was “around the corner” or a “light at the end of the tunnel.” All these generals needed, naturally, was more time and, of course, more resources. For the most part they’ve gotten it, billions in cash to throw away and thousands of American soldiers’ lives to waste.