Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An unknowable war, the war that isn’t


The cardinal responsibility of leadership is to identify the dominant contradiction at each point of the historical process and to work out a central line to resolve it.
Mao Tse-Tung

My DD214 is an odd thing.  It says absolutely nothing.  I am an 11B10.  I am shown to be an expert in the 45 caliber pistol and the hand grenade.  I am a marksman with the M16. 

I am shown with no time out of country.  It lists no medals.

All of this is at odds with my memories and a box of crap up in my moms cedar chest in Utah, but when you were employed by the US Army in this period of time (1975-1981), there is often an strange discontinuity in many a career.

What I am saying here is that oftentimes, in the course of a nations history, the military is quite active, but not involved in a publicly announced and debated war.   This is for the best, as the rough and violent men that make up the military are sorely tested by peacetime service with its parades and politics.

We should be looking at the truth of the world.  That there is need for such as these men, but they are best spent sparingly.  To throw them away trying to keep peace for the ungrateful is a mission that demeans both these soldiers and those in their “long Egyptian night”. 

Maybe we ought to really look at how we run our military.  Large conventional forces are not where we need to be, they force us to be targets.  Maybe a hidden military is a better.  There are good reasons for the use of violence.   None of them are appealing.  But they are still there.  The silent raid, the targeted chaos to remove a threat, the silent murder to stop a war.

The military is the biggest of the “too big to fail” enterprises within our country.  But if we keep sending it to die in large numbers for little reason, it may choose not to fail in a way we may not like.   I think that it will be imperative for the future of the Republic that we rethink our military force structure and its uses.

I think that it is also time to ponder the history and fate of the New Model Army.  They kicked ass wherever they went too.

1 comment:

Mayberry said...

I dunno 'bout this one Gringo..... Yes, the military is needed, but the USA also needs to butt out of the rest of the world. The military should be for defense only. Sure, I'd love to hear of a sniper planting some lead between that pipsqueak Hugo Chavez's eyes, or something like that, but that's the kinda crap that gets us into trouble in the first place....