Endless war

We have entered an era, according to Greg Jaffe, of endless war:

In previous decades, the military and the American public viewed war as an aberration and peace as the norm.

Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into “a period of persistent conflict,” according to the Pentagon’s last major assessment of global security. “No one should harbor the illusion that the developed world can win this conflict in the near future,” the document concludes.

By this logic, America’s wars are unending and any talk of peace is quixotic or naive. The new view of war and peace has brought about far-reaching changes in agencies such as the CIA, which is increasingly shifting its focus from gathering intelligence to targeting and killing terrorists. Within the military the shift has reshaped Army bases, spurred the creation of new commands and changed what it means to be a warrior.

On the home front, the new thinking has altered long-held views about the effectiveness of military power and the likelihood that peace will ever prevail.

In the decades after Vietnam, the U.S. military was almost entirely focused on training for a big, unthinkable war with the Soviet Union. There were small conflicts, such as Grenada, Panama and the Persian Gulf War, but the United States was largely at peace.

After the Soviet collapse and America’s swift Gulf War victory, the military bet that it would be able to use big weapons and vastly better technology to bludgeon enemies into a speedy surrender. It envisioned a future of quick, decisive and overwhelming victories.

A decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has crushed the “smug certainties” of that earlier era, said Eliot Cohen, a military historian who served in the George W. Bush administration.

via A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Sounds like a Pentagon job security plan in an era of budget cutting and belt tightening.

  • SKPeterson

    Sounds like a Pentagon job security plan in an era of budget cutting and belt tightening.

  • Tom Hering

    Exactly. It’s the Pentagon that’s come to the conclusion that non-stop conflict is our only future. Follow the money.

  • Tom Hering

    Exactly. It’s the Pentagon that’s come to the conclusion that non-stop conflict is our only future. Follow the money.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Yeah, and Ron Paul is a crackpot because of his views on foreign policy… Riiiight.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Yeah, and Ron Paul is a crackpot because of his views on foreign policy… Riiiight.

  • kerner

    In prior wars, constitutional liberties were sometimes suspended for the sake of the exegencies of the situation (i.e. Lincoln suspending Habeus Corpus during the Civil War). Whether you think these temporary suspensions were the right thing to do or not, the most important redeeming factor was that they were temporary.

    One of my biggest concerns about the loss of personal liberty in this country is that we are having to give up our 4th Amendmet rights in the name of Homeland Security, for the sake of a situation that is becoming considered permanent.

    There are so many situations in which Americans tolerate warrantless searches of their persons today that have been going on for 10 years. In another 10 years, a whole generation will have grown up not knowing that you used to be able to go to an airport or your local courthouse without being subject to a warrantless search. I just hope we can reverse this trend.

  • kerner

    In prior wars, constitutional liberties were sometimes suspended for the sake of the exegencies of the situation (i.e. Lincoln suspending Habeus Corpus during the Civil War). Whether you think these temporary suspensions were the right thing to do or not, the most important redeeming factor was that they were temporary.

    One of my biggest concerns about the loss of personal liberty in this country is that we are having to give up our 4th Amendmet rights in the name of Homeland Security, for the sake of a situation that is becoming considered permanent.

    There are so many situations in which Americans tolerate warrantless searches of their persons today that have been going on for 10 years. In another 10 years, a whole generation will have grown up not knowing that you used to be able to go to an airport or your local courthouse without being subject to a warrantless search. I just hope we can reverse this trend.

  • Steve Billingsley

    In human history, war is more of the norm than peace. Given the realities of unregenerate human nature, peace is the exception to the rule and as a result, should be cherished for the rare gift that it really is. Can anyone tell me when the golden age of peace in American history was? It seems that we have almost always been embroiled in one conflict or another.

  • Steve Billingsley

    In human history, war is more of the norm than peace. Given the realities of unregenerate human nature, peace is the exception to the rule and as a result, should be cherished for the rare gift that it really is. Can anyone tell me when the golden age of peace in American history was? It seems that we have almost always been embroiled in one conflict or another.

  • Carl Vehse

    It’s not a war unless Congress officially declares it. What we have is a continuing military conflict authorized under the oxymoronic “War Powers Act.”

  • Carl Vehse

    It’s not a war unless Congress officially declares it. What we have is a continuing military conflict authorized under the oxymoronic “War Powers Act.”

  • Kirk

    We are officially the new Roman Republic.

  • Kirk

    We are officially the new Roman Republic.

  • Jonathan

    1 & 2, ha ha. “Exactly. It’s the Pentagon that’s come to the conclusion that non-stop conflict is our only future. Follow the money.”

    Really?

    It’s the timid civilian leadership that wants to fight these wars “on the cheap” that’s the cause of it taking so long and being more costly over the long haul. The civilian leaders decide the policy where and when to fight and how much to spend on it. So tell the military to stand down or go in big and get ‘er done. But, what’s that? The civilian leaders want your military to go in and get the bad guys and THEN also be in charge of building a nation from scratch? Well, ok then, roger that, will do. But that’s not really the military’s forte, mind you. Fast, cheap, perfect–pick any two.

  • Jonathan

    1 & 2, ha ha. “Exactly. It’s the Pentagon that’s come to the conclusion that non-stop conflict is our only future. Follow the money.”

    Really?

    It’s the timid civilian leadership that wants to fight these wars “on the cheap” that’s the cause of it taking so long and being more costly over the long haul. The civilian leaders decide the policy where and when to fight and how much to spend on it. So tell the military to stand down or go in big and get ‘er done. But, what’s that? The civilian leaders want your military to go in and get the bad guys and THEN also be in charge of building a nation from scratch? Well, ok then, roger that, will do. But that’s not really the military’s forte, mind you. Fast, cheap, perfect–pick any two.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @2

    Yup

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @2

    Yup

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into “a period of persistent conflict,”
    Umm, what? Catapulted the world? Really? What rock has this man been living under? At what point in the history of “the world” has it been at peace?
    This sort of crap bugs the hell out of me. Perhaps it was just the way I was carted around the globe growing up, and exposed to what it was like in other areas of the world, what an anomaly the United States was to know the peace that it did within it’s borders. The only world that has been catapulted into persistent conflict is this man’s own personal naivety. The rest of the world has been at it for all of history in one area or another.
    But you see there is another aspect to this naivety. When I was in Europe in the Air Force, I’d run into people, especially in Scandinavia, who somehow thought that they could be at peace without the military. The countries were free to trade and so on, bringing the average citizen of Western Europe great wealth at the expense of American Military Power protecting them. Since we were there they did not need to invest in their own militaries to the extent that would be required had we not been there. And even though they had drafts etc. It seemed few of them took the idea of that risk seriously.
    Today, it seems many Americans suffer from the same sort of naivety. We can keep peace at home for the most part, only by bringing the fight elsewhere. The world is in a constant conflict, and we are part of it, a big part of it. Ignoring the conflicts will only make things worse for us, at home and abroad.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into “a period of persistent conflict,”
    Umm, what? Catapulted the world? Really? What rock has this man been living under? At what point in the history of “the world” has it been at peace?
    This sort of crap bugs the hell out of me. Perhaps it was just the way I was carted around the globe growing up, and exposed to what it was like in other areas of the world, what an anomaly the United States was to know the peace that it did within it’s borders. The only world that has been catapulted into persistent conflict is this man’s own personal naivety. The rest of the world has been at it for all of history in one area or another.
    But you see there is another aspect to this naivety. When I was in Europe in the Air Force, I’d run into people, especially in Scandinavia, who somehow thought that they could be at peace without the military. The countries were free to trade and so on, bringing the average citizen of Western Europe great wealth at the expense of American Military Power protecting them. Since we were there they did not need to invest in their own militaries to the extent that would be required had we not been there. And even though they had drafts etc. It seemed few of them took the idea of that risk seriously.
    Today, it seems many Americans suffer from the same sort of naivety. We can keep peace at home for the most part, only by bringing the fight elsewhere. The world is in a constant conflict, and we are part of it, a big part of it. Ignoring the conflicts will only make things worse for us, at home and abroad.

  • http://originalsoapbox.wordpress.com Peter S.

    Wow. From the “end of history” in the 90s right back around to the “war of all against all” in the 2010s.

  • http://originalsoapbox.wordpress.com Peter S.

    Wow. From the “end of history” in the 90s right back around to the “war of all against all” in the 2010s.

  • Kirk

    @8

    The issue is that the defense industry (extending far beyond the Pentagon) has such influence over civilian leaders that war is perpetuated at their behest. There are billions upon billions of dollars available in contracts to private defense companies that account for hundreds of thousands of jobs. It’s an absolutely massive industry in America that uses its resources to lobby congress for more funding. And frankly, it’s an easy sell. No politician wants to look “weak” on “defense” or like they don’t support our soldiers serving abroad.

    It’s not a question of how we conduct our wars (and frankly, it’s confusing and slightly distressing when people say we need to quit playing and “get the job done.” What does that mean? Kill everyone? Impose a military dictatorship on our enemy’s countries?), it’s a question of why we go to war in the first place. What constitutes a necessary intervention? Why do we view military force as the ultimate expression of our diplomacy?

    It makes me think of John Hawkwood “Do you not know that I live by war and that peace would be my undoing?”

  • Kirk

    @8

    The issue is that the defense industry (extending far beyond the Pentagon) has such influence over civilian leaders that war is perpetuated at their behest. There are billions upon billions of dollars available in contracts to private defense companies that account for hundreds of thousands of jobs. It’s an absolutely massive industry in America that uses its resources to lobby congress for more funding. And frankly, it’s an easy sell. No politician wants to look “weak” on “defense” or like they don’t support our soldiers serving abroad.

    It’s not a question of how we conduct our wars (and frankly, it’s confusing and slightly distressing when people say we need to quit playing and “get the job done.” What does that mean? Kill everyone? Impose a military dictatorship on our enemy’s countries?), it’s a question of why we go to war in the first place. What constitutes a necessary intervention? Why do we view military force as the ultimate expression of our diplomacy?

    It makes me think of John Hawkwood “Do you not know that I live by war and that peace would be my undoing?”

  • Jonathan

    @ 10. Yup, yup.

  • Jonathan

    @ 10. Yup, yup.

  • Jonathan

    @12 Kirk, I get your point, but 1&2&9 say it is the Pentagon/military making full employment for itself. Maybe it is defense contractors pressuring civilian leadership that’s a factor as you suggest, but ultimately it is civilian leadership who decides when/where/how the military fights, not the military. It is a cynical and offensive smear to those in service to say they are making full employment for themselves.

  • Jonathan

    @12 Kirk, I get your point, but 1&2&9 say it is the Pentagon/military making full employment for itself. Maybe it is defense contractors pressuring civilian leadership that’s a factor as you suggest, but ultimately it is civilian leadership who decides when/where/how the military fights, not the military. It is a cynical and offensive smear to those in service to say they are making full employment for themselves.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @10

    What I find interesting is that the Scandinavians are such arms exporters. They may not shoot one another much but they are equipping those who do. Also, how about that WWII Finnish mega marksman, Simo Häyhä.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @10

    What I find interesting is that the Scandinavians are such arms exporters. They may not shoot one another much but they are equipping those who do. Also, how about that WWII Finnish mega marksman, Simo Häyhä.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It is a cynical and offensive smear to those in service to say they are making full employment for themselves.”

    Yeah, which is why Tom didn’t do that. It is the leadership, not those serving who are pushing foreign adventures and expensive defense contracts.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “It is a cynical and offensive smear to those in service to say they are making full employment for themselves.”

    Yeah, which is why Tom didn’t do that. It is the leadership, not those serving who are pushing foreign adventures and expensive defense contracts.

  • SKPeterson

    Jonathan @ 14 – Are you seriously contending that our military is not a bureaucratic institution as interested in maintaining the flow of funding as any other government agency? Who lobbied more for our continued presence in Afghanistan and Iraq? It wasn’t civilian leadership, it was the top brass at the Pentagon. Pentagon officials are constantly going before Congress asking for more money to combat new threats, simply the modern version of Adam’s going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. This report is an extended talking points memo on how to hit up House or Senate committee members for more money in order to combat new monsters.

  • SKPeterson

    Jonathan @ 14 – Are you seriously contending that our military is not a bureaucratic institution as interested in maintaining the flow of funding as any other government agency? Who lobbied more for our continued presence in Afghanistan and Iraq? It wasn’t civilian leadership, it was the top brass at the Pentagon. Pentagon officials are constantly going before Congress asking for more money to combat new threats, simply the modern version of Adam’s going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. This report is an extended talking points memo on how to hit up House or Senate committee members for more money in order to combat new monsters.

  • Jonathan

    Military brass lobbying to stay in Afghanistan? Wha!? The military was given a mission to do in Afg– get the bad guys and THEN create the conditions necessary for a peaceful, stable, U.S.-loving Afg ally in the fight against terror. The brass simply came to “lobby” for the resources necessary to complete the mission that the CIV leaders gave it. So you don’t agree with the mission, think it’s too long & costly, then tell your elected CIV leaders. The CIV leaders can change their mind on the mission and tell the military to stand down if they want. Likewise if the CIV leaders don’t believe in threat assessments, then don’t buy it. But I agree with Bror, that is all naivety. Did the military tell the leadership to intervene in Libya? Why didn’t the military lobby to stop the eastern or western Africa massacres? If they did, why weren’t we there? No, military plans for everything, and only goes and does what its told by the CIV leaders, as it must do. I say again, the notion the military does it for full employment is offensive. It does the job its CIV leaders ask it. I’d rather you just said “thank you.” Otherwise pick up a weapon and stand your post. You want them on that wall; you need them on that wall!

  • Jonathan

    Military brass lobbying to stay in Afghanistan? Wha!? The military was given a mission to do in Afg– get the bad guys and THEN create the conditions necessary for a peaceful, stable, U.S.-loving Afg ally in the fight against terror. The brass simply came to “lobby” for the resources necessary to complete the mission that the CIV leaders gave it. So you don’t agree with the mission, think it’s too long & costly, then tell your elected CIV leaders. The CIV leaders can change their mind on the mission and tell the military to stand down if they want. Likewise if the CIV leaders don’t believe in threat assessments, then don’t buy it. But I agree with Bror, that is all naivety. Did the military tell the leadership to intervene in Libya? Why didn’t the military lobby to stop the eastern or western Africa massacres? If they did, why weren’t we there? No, military plans for everything, and only goes and does what its told by the CIV leaders, as it must do. I say again, the notion the military does it for full employment is offensive. It does the job its CIV leaders ask it. I’d rather you just said “thank you.” Otherwise pick up a weapon and stand your post. You want them on that wall; you need them on that wall!

  • Jonathan

    Who’s going to do it? You, sg? You, SK?!

  • Jonathan

    Who’s going to do it? You, sg? You, SK?!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg,
    tODDing Scandinavia and Arms deals shows the result that Sweden is number 8 in arms deals. The other countries don’t even make the list of top 10. So I’m not sure what you are getting at there. In any case though it is really beside the point. Even if they do sell a lot of arms to other countries etc. It is through the work of a few companies, that don’t employ very many. I suspect the history behind this has to do with Sweden having huge Iron mines, and a history of manufacturing steel, as well as being innovators in explosives, also in large part relating to the mining industry. Nobel was a Swede.
    And now this coming from a Finno Swede whose family was involved in the Finnish/ Russian war of 1939. Finland is an anomaly. The Finns aren’t really Scandinavians. For one they aren’t on that Peninsula. 2 their language is in a class by itself having no relation to Swedish, Norwegian or Danish, which for the most part are the same language with different accents, and are all Germanic in back ground.
    The Finns though are perhaps the less naive of the Nordic countries always watching their border to the east and wondering when it is they might have to stack it with the bodies of Russian youth again.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg,
    tODDing Scandinavia and Arms deals shows the result that Sweden is number 8 in arms deals. The other countries don’t even make the list of top 10. So I’m not sure what you are getting at there. In any case though it is really beside the point. Even if they do sell a lot of arms to other countries etc. It is through the work of a few companies, that don’t employ very many. I suspect the history behind this has to do with Sweden having huge Iron mines, and a history of manufacturing steel, as well as being innovators in explosives, also in large part relating to the mining industry. Nobel was a Swede.
    And now this coming from a Finno Swede whose family was involved in the Finnish/ Russian war of 1939. Finland is an anomaly. The Finns aren’t really Scandinavians. For one they aren’t on that Peninsula. 2 their language is in a class by itself having no relation to Swedish, Norwegian or Danish, which for the most part are the same language with different accents, and are all Germanic in back ground.
    The Finns though are perhaps the less naive of the Nordic countries always watching their border to the east and wondering when it is they might have to stack it with the bodies of Russian youth again.

  • Jonathan

    You weep for Ron Paul and you curse the military industrial complex. You have that luxury.

  • Jonathan

    You weep for Ron Paul and you curse the military industrial complex. You have that luxury.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    @18 and 19,
    Right. And it is offensive to be slandering the leadership of the military this way. Its slanderous to be talking of the military in this manner. The generals don’t want to be there, they know they have to be there. They would rather be enjoying the comforts of home, and not watching there men and women be put in harms way. But they go and they put these men and women in harms way for us.
    So if you have a beef take it up with the civilians pushing for war. But don’t take it out on the military. It is unconscionable what we are doing to the pentagon today. We involve them in more wars, and then try to cut their budget. Absolutely assanine. One of the reasons I don’t vote Democrat by the way. If you actually look at the history of this “party of peace” they get us involved in more conflicts then republicans do, and yet when Republicans vote to increase military spending to equip our men properly for the wars the democrats get us into, they are called war mongers, and the democrats vote to balance the budget by sending our men to war without the equipment, but they get a pass in the media.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    @18 and 19,
    Right. And it is offensive to be slandering the leadership of the military this way. Its slanderous to be talking of the military in this manner. The generals don’t want to be there, they know they have to be there. They would rather be enjoying the comforts of home, and not watching there men and women be put in harms way. But they go and they put these men and women in harms way for us.
    So if you have a beef take it up with the civilians pushing for war. But don’t take it out on the military. It is unconscionable what we are doing to the pentagon today. We involve them in more wars, and then try to cut their budget. Absolutely assanine. One of the reasons I don’t vote Democrat by the way. If you actually look at the history of this “party of peace” they get us involved in more conflicts then republicans do, and yet when Republicans vote to increase military spending to equip our men properly for the wars the democrats get us into, they are called war mongers, and the democrats vote to balance the budget by sending our men to war without the equipment, but they get a pass in the media.

  • SKPeterson

    Bror @ 22. Take everything you said and replace “military” with “teachers” and “war” with “education” or “education schemes.”

    Jonathan @ 19 Here is one aspect of the problem: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/general-reveals-obama-ignored-militarys-advice-afghanistan_575902.html .

    Now this could be viewed as evidence of the military lobbying for the resources to do the job, but whining about the President giving them an order that wasn’t on their list of options seems to be the military attempting to tell the CIV leadership what the acceptable policies are instead of the CIV leadership defining the policy and telling the brass to do it.

    And this would seem to indicate that the military is doing what it wants to do, despite the CIV leadership:

    http://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/us-forces-in-iraq-for-the-long-haul/

    The military is one of the few departments that I would say hold to a legitimate function of government. That does not give them a free pass to raid the public fisc.

  • SKPeterson

    Bror @ 22. Take everything you said and replace “military” with “teachers” and “war” with “education” or “education schemes.”

    Jonathan @ 19 Here is one aspect of the problem: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/general-reveals-obama-ignored-militarys-advice-afghanistan_575902.html .

    Now this could be viewed as evidence of the military lobbying for the resources to do the job, but whining about the President giving them an order that wasn’t on their list of options seems to be the military attempting to tell the CIV leadership what the acceptable policies are instead of the CIV leadership defining the policy and telling the brass to do it.

    And this would seem to indicate that the military is doing what it wants to do, despite the CIV leadership:

    http://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/us-forces-in-iraq-for-the-long-haul/

    The military is one of the few departments that I would say hold to a legitimate function of government. That does not give them a free pass to raid the public fisc.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Scandinavia and Arms deals shows the result that Sweden is number 8 in arms deals. The other countries don’t even make the list of top 10.”

    Yes, but Scand countries are teeny weeny tiny countries. Their arms exports are huge compared to the size of the countries. That is my point. Sweden is #8 for arms deals but nowhere near #8 in population rank. They have fewer people than NYC.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Scandinavia and Arms deals shows the result that Sweden is number 8 in arms deals. The other countries don’t even make the list of top 10.”

    Yes, but Scand countries are teeny weeny tiny countries. Their arms exports are huge compared to the size of the countries. That is my point. Sweden is #8 for arms deals but nowhere near #8 in population rank. They have fewer people than NYC.

  • SKPeterson

    Also, Swedish is still an official language in Finland and about 5% of the population are finlandssvenskar. I’ll countenance Israel giving up the Golan to Syria when Russia agrees to give Karelia back to the Finns.

  • SKPeterson

    Also, Swedish is still an official language in Finland and about 5% of the population are finlandssvenskar. I’ll countenance Israel giving up the Golan to Syria when Russia agrees to give Karelia back to the Finns.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The military is one of the few departments that I would say hold to a legitimate function of government.”

    No, it is not the responsibility of the US government to provide security for dozens of wealthy countries the world over.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The military is one of the few departments that I would say hold to a legitimate function of government.”

    No, it is not the responsibility of the US government to provide security for dozens of wealthy countries the world over.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sk, I really do not know what you are getting at with your whole bit about replacing military with teachers etc. I’m guessing it has something to do with Republicans wanting to slash education and yet demanding more of it. Yet it seems a bit weird because the more money we throw at education the less we seem to get for it. just saying. And Government, does not have an obligation to educate. I’d just do away with the whole system, get the federal government out of it all together and leave it to state governments, if it was up to me. But then I dropped out, so what do I know.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sk, I really do not know what you are getting at with your whole bit about replacing military with teachers etc. I’m guessing it has something to do with Republicans wanting to slash education and yet demanding more of it. Yet it seems a bit weird because the more money we throw at education the less we seem to get for it. just saying. And Government, does not have an obligation to educate. I’d just do away with the whole system, get the federal government out of it all together and leave it to state governments, if it was up to me. But then I dropped out, so what do I know.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sg.
    I don’t think population size has anything to do with ability to trade arms.
    on the other hand, my brother pointed out to me that it seems the countries with the stricter gun laws are the ones that make the best guns. Go figure that one out. And they sell them like hot cakes to the U.?S all the while playing horrified at our gun laws.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sg.
    I don’t think population size has anything to do with ability to trade arms.
    on the other hand, my brother pointed out to me that it seems the countries with the stricter gun laws are the ones that make the best guns. Go figure that one out. And they sell them like hot cakes to the U.?S all the while playing horrified at our gun laws.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg,
    I do not think that is exactly what Sk was talking about when he said that the military is one of the few legitimate functions of the government. However, in the interest of the united states and the comforts we enjoy, in the interests of holding up liberty here and elsewhere, we have signed numerous treaties which for what ever reason do make it our responsibility. Perhaps those other wealthy countries could afford to pay a little more for their own protection these days. but believe me, you would not want to live in a world where the U.S. Military stayed out of the wars that have led to those treaties.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    sg,
    I do not think that is exactly what Sk was talking about when he said that the military is one of the few legitimate functions of the government. However, in the interest of the united states and the comforts we enjoy, in the interests of holding up liberty here and elsewhere, we have signed numerous treaties which for what ever reason do make it our responsibility. Perhaps those other wealthy countries could afford to pay a little more for their own protection these days. but believe me, you would not want to live in a world where the U.S. Military stayed out of the wars that have led to those treaties.

  • SKPeterson

    No, Bror. My point was to replace one government agency or bureaucracy with another. Your argument for the military is easily applicable to those who advocate for more education spending and new programs to deal with ever more numerous educational crises that keep manifesting themselves.

    And, yes, Bror. You are right about my views on the military. I prefer a Swedish or Swiss model for the scope of our military’s agenda.

  • SKPeterson

    No, Bror. My point was to replace one government agency or bureaucracy with another. Your argument for the military is easily applicable to those who advocate for more education spending and new programs to deal with ever more numerous educational crises that keep manifesting themselves.

    And, yes, Bror. You are right about my views on the military. I prefer a Swedish or Swiss model for the scope of our military’s agenda.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yeah, not sure even the swedes hold for that anymore Sk. Perhaps the Swiss do…
    I’ve notices Sweden has been a bit more willing to get involved in world affairs lately.
    There was a time when i wondered what would happen if we were to pull our fiorces out, and hunker down in the borders of the united States. 9/11 answered that.
    I suppose I wish I lived in a utopia too. I’m just not willing to act as if I live in that fairy tale. I’ll wait for the return of Christ. Until then I live in this world and live and think accordingly.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yeah, not sure even the swedes hold for that anymore Sk. Perhaps the Swiss do…
    I’ve notices Sweden has been a bit more willing to get involved in world affairs lately.
    There was a time when i wondered what would happen if we were to pull our fiorces out, and hunker down in the borders of the united States. 9/11 answered that.
    I suppose I wish I lived in a utopia too. I’m just not willing to act as if I live in that fairy tale. I’ll wait for the return of Christ. Until then I live in this world and live and think accordingly.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As for the military being another government bureaucracy. They aren’t they are a legitimate arm of Government. And unfortunately, they are being faced with more. They are being asked to do more. in fact they are being required to do more. and we want to cut their budget at the same time. because we think we can live in a fairy tale. The world just isn’t like that. It is dog eat dog, unless you happen to live under the pax americana.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As for the military being another government bureaucracy. They aren’t they are a legitimate arm of Government. And unfortunately, they are being faced with more. They are being asked to do more. in fact they are being required to do more. and we want to cut their budget at the same time. because we think we can live in a fairy tale. The world just isn’t like that. It is dog eat dog, unless you happen to live under the pax americana.

  • kerner

    Bror:
    “As for the military being another government bureaucracy. They aren’t they are a legitimate arm of Government.”

    Oh come on, that was too much, even for me. Legitimate or not, the military is a big, often inefficient, bureaucracy. As much as I support the military, and as much as I want my children who serve in it to be properly equipped, I have no illusions about the miltary/Defense Department being run as a bureaucracy. I mean, what else can you call it?

  • kerner

    Bror:
    “As for the military being another government bureaucracy. They aren’t they are a legitimate arm of Government.”

    Oh come on, that was too much, even for me. Legitimate or not, the military is a big, often inefficient, bureaucracy. As much as I support the military, and as much as I want my children who serve in it to be properly equipped, I have no illusions about the miltary/Defense Department being run as a bureaucracy. I mean, what else can you call it?

  • Tom Hering

    “I mean, what else can you call it?”

    A military-industrial complex?

  • Tom Hering

    “I mean, what else can you call it?”

    A military-industrial complex?

  • kerner

    Tom @ 34:

    I see your point. But understand that your view of the “military industrial complex’ is pretty much the same as a conservative’s view of the “welfare state”. You see a good idea (national defense) transformed into a giant gravy train; a trough to which a whole class of people bellies up to get fat. This class of people has no interest in actually ending, or even minimizing, threats to our security. Because, if the threats were ever actually minimized, the gravy train would dry up.

    Likewise, the welfare state sounds like it has a laudable goal (helping the poor) but it is likewise a gravy train; a trough to which a whole class of people bellies up to get fat. This class has no interest in ending, or even minimizing poverty. Because if poverty were ever actually minimized, the gravy train would dry up.

    That’s why conservatives laugh when you say that liberalism is about loving your neighbor. Liberalism is about shaking down your neighbor for $1,000.00, then handing the money to a bunch of greedy parasites (the government) who keep $900.00 but then hand the remaining $100.00 to a poor person. The $100.00 is too little to lift the poor person out of poverty. But the poor person can’t find a job, because his neighbor, who just lost $1,000.00, has no money left to hire him.

    So the parasites prosper, the poor stay poor and your neighbor gets robbed. Sorry, but I don’t see a Biblical model here.

    You can make a similar argument about the military industrial complex, and you’d be right. A lot of people are getting fat off our fear. And those people have very little interest in resolving the threats that scare us.

  • kerner

    Tom @ 34:

    I see your point. But understand that your view of the “military industrial complex’ is pretty much the same as a conservative’s view of the “welfare state”. You see a good idea (national defense) transformed into a giant gravy train; a trough to which a whole class of people bellies up to get fat. This class of people has no interest in actually ending, or even minimizing, threats to our security. Because, if the threats were ever actually minimized, the gravy train would dry up.

    Likewise, the welfare state sounds like it has a laudable goal (helping the poor) but it is likewise a gravy train; a trough to which a whole class of people bellies up to get fat. This class has no interest in ending, or even minimizing poverty. Because if poverty were ever actually minimized, the gravy train would dry up.

    That’s why conservatives laugh when you say that liberalism is about loving your neighbor. Liberalism is about shaking down your neighbor for $1,000.00, then handing the money to a bunch of greedy parasites (the government) who keep $900.00 but then hand the remaining $100.00 to a poor person. The $100.00 is too little to lift the poor person out of poverty. But the poor person can’t find a job, because his neighbor, who just lost $1,000.00, has no money left to hire him.

    So the parasites prosper, the poor stay poor and your neighbor gets robbed. Sorry, but I don’t see a Biblical model here.

    You can make a similar argument about the military industrial complex, and you’d be right. A lot of people are getting fat off our fear. And those people have very little interest in resolving the threats that scare us.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 35, wow, I don’t believe I’m confused enough to assert that liberalism is about loving your neighbor. At its best, as a political philosophy, liberalism is about the Golden Rule – which doesn’t require love. Just a conscience and a fear of consequences (direct or indirect). Like any other law.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 35, wow, I don’t believe I’m confused enough to assert that liberalism is about loving your neighbor. At its best, as a political philosophy, liberalism is about the Golden Rule – which doesn’t require love. Just a conscience and a fear of consequences (direct or indirect). Like any other law.

  • kerner

    Tom @36:

    Allow me to rephrase. So the parasites prosper, the poor stay poor and your neighbor gets robbed. Sorry, but I don’t see the golden rule in action here.

    Still a bit of hyperbole, but not too much I think.

  • kerner

    Tom @36:

    Allow me to rephrase. So the parasites prosper, the poor stay poor and your neighbor gets robbed. Sorry, but I don’t see the golden rule in action here.

    Still a bit of hyperbole, but not too much I think.

  • Tom Hering

    So can I, then, define conservatism as the exploiters run wild, the rich get richer, and your neighbor gets the crumbs?

  • Tom Hering

    So can I, then, define conservatism as the exploiters run wild, the rich get richer, and your neighbor gets the crumbs?

  • Pingback: Free eBook: Endless War (Non-Fiction). | Dave Enjoys

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