by Joseph R. Stromberg
Constant American bombing of much of the world ought to raise questions about the morality (if any) of air power, even if few Americans bother to confront them. (Indeed, many moral theorists would rather apply their theorizing and “intuitions” to runaway trolley cars than to the real-world problem posed here.)
Air power first showed its long-imagined potential in World War ... [click for more]
by Michael Swanson
by Col. James Donovan; Foreword by Gen. David Shoup (Scribner’s 1970), 265 pages
Today the United States is engaged in seemingly winless wars without end in Iraq and Afghanistan and has been engaging in interventions in places such as Libya, which seem to result in nothing but chaos. Libya has descended into civil war and the rise ... [click for more]
by Philip A. Reboli
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert Gates (Knop 2014), 640 pages.
The most interesting parts of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s memoir, Duty, are about how he navigated the Department of Defense (DoD) bureaucracy and the special interests who live off it. A recurring theme is the difficulty Gates had in getting the DoD ... [click for more]
by Sheldon Richman
The largest criminal organizations in the world are governments. The bigger they are, the more capable of perpetrating atrocities. Not only do they obtain great wealth through compulsion (taxation), they also have an ideological mystique that permits them uniquely to get away with murder, torture, and theft.
The U.S. government is no exception. This is demonstrated by, among many other ... [click for more]
by Sheldon Richman
“Freedom isn’t free.”
We’ve all heard this glib line. It usually is uttered as an admonition to those who criticize some government imposition that is defended in the name of national security. The last time I heard it I had just condemned military conscription — the draft — as slavery. It’s also brought out to rebut those who refuse to ... [click for more]
by Wendy McElroy
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is backing a bill to reinstate the draft, but he wants to include women this time. Gender and liberal feminists are responding in various ways, but they seem to have arrived at the same conclusion: an endorsement of drafting women.
The why of it
Many gender and liberal feminists view female conscription as a Left ... [click for more]
by Tim Kelly
In a recent New York Times op-ed column, Thomas Ricks called for reinstating military conscription. He quoted Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who said at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, and every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.”
Ricks, ... [click for more]
by Scott McPherson
Soldier, soldier, how you soar
Aloft in that elevated status
Reserved to those who trade
In war and oppression.
Soldier, soldier, do not fear;
You’ll never hear an unkindness —
Insulated from the truth
Of murder and rapine.
Soldier, soldier, may you take
This blue-blood daughter’s hand?
Honored would her father be
To hear tales of empire.
Soldier, soldier, how is it that
Across the spectrum of politeness
We speak of hope and ... [click for more]
by Tim Kelly
The murderous rampage of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in Afghanistan has received much deserved media attention. Sgt. Bales’s shooting spree, killing 17 Afghan civilians, was quickly condemned by the Obama administration as a horrible incident and an aberration that was in no way representative of the “exceptional character” of the U.S. military.
It is a matter of state ... [click for more]
by Laurence M. Vance
The Navy's Blue Angels flight-demonstration team is in trouble. And not because their commander resigned earlier this year after flying his F/A-18 Hornet below minimum altitude at an air show in Virginia and causing a month-long safety stand-down.
Headquartered at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, the Blue Angels have been flying and thrilling audiences for more than 60 years. The ... [click for more]
by Tim Kelly
Veterans Day honors those citizens who fought in the U.S. governments wars wars supposedly waged to preserve Americans liberty. Most Americans uncritically accept this last part, and believe they owe the U.S. military a debt of gratitude for their freedom and independence.
This belief is so widely held that it has become a tenet of the country's civic faith. However, ... [click for more]
by John W. Whitehead
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes ... known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst ... [click for more]