Martin C. Evans

America’s sacrifice-free wars

In Deployments on December 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Soldiers at basic training

A former Army Ranger who taught at West Point says Americans talk a good game about supporting the war, but shamefully are willing to allow a tiny few to bear war’s burdens.

“The lie is that the U.S. armed forces have sufficient men and women to do their job, that morale is high, and burdens and pains negligible,” wrote Adrian Lewis, now a professor of history at the University of Kansas, in the current issue of Military Review.

Military Review is published by the Combined Arms Center, a U.S. Army leadership training institute at Ft. Leavenworth, Ks.

“Constant deployments are wearing out Soldiers, Marines, and their families physically, psychologically and emotionally,” Lewis wrote. “….The only way to do this in the current political, social and economic climate is to reinstitute the draft.”

But Lewis’ solution appears to be a non-starter.

Less than 1 percent of Americans serve in the U.S. military. And even avowed fiscal watchdogs, including Republican hawks, have refused to support a tax to pay for the cost of the two ongoing wars. The U.S has already spent more than a trillion (a thousand billion) dollars on the two wars since president George W. Bush first sent troops to Afghanistan eight years ago.

With few Americans doing the fighting, and a tax-free war that hits no one’s pocketbook, Lewis argues, politicians can continue war spending and troop deployments without fear of anti-war resistance.

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