The Other One Percent: The US Military Today
My comments on this news:
TIME MAGAZINE is found in fewer and fewer US homes, so the November 21, 2011, cover story "The Other One Percent: The US Military Today" is easy to miss.
Of interest to many is the following section:
"A More Dangerous Divide
On close inspection, it is clear that we're not only outsourcing our
security to a smaller group of citizens; we're outsourcing some of it to
noncitizens. Since 9/11, 70,000 foreigners have won American citizenship by
joining the U.S. military; right now, about 16,000 noncitizens are on active
duty, hoping it will earn them citizenship. U.S. officials expect that 9,000
more -- roughly two Army brigades' worth -- will sign up each year. ..." [Time, Nov. 21, p. 34-35]
Now that posse comitatus protections have been placed in doubt by various pieces of post-9/11 legislation, it seems all the more important, to me, that the military should be people we know, our neighbors. How would Americans fare if the guns pointed our way were held by recently-naturalized citizens?
The article is suspect, at least ambiguous, on certain issues. Author Mark Thompson presents the military brass as heavily in favor of large deployments in overseas conflicts. However, contributions to political campaigns show that Ron Paul, who favors bringing home the troops, ending the Middle East wars, and closing most overseas military bases, has received MORE contributions from military personnel than have all other GOP candidates COMBINED. How does this compute?
The November 21 article is an expansion of Thompson's earlier writings on the increasingly large gulf between the civilian population and the military, See one linked article, in News.
On grounds that the US military is increasingly isolated from the US public, Thompson appears to advance propaganda for re-instituting the draft. However, the isolation of the military should not be an excuse for placing the population on a war footing. Most Americans want peace.
The isolation of the military is a sad fact, not all of it the result of current military demographics. Much of the isolation results from the inability of most of us to relate to warriors who risk life and limb and see battlefield blood and deaths on a daily basis. Officers bear the additional burden of responsibility for those who serve under them, and the combat experience of making decisions fast and alone.
War is sad. Only the rare parade is glorious. The armchair warriors -- often politicians and the media -- who send the nation into repeated conflicts should be ashamed.