What our soldiers are saying about Syria

Retired Major General Robert H. Scales, former commandant of the U. S. Army War College, gives the word on the streets from those who would actually have to do the fighting:

By no means do I profess to speak on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform. But I can justifiably share the sentiments of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting our wars. After personal exchanges with dozens of active and retired soldiers in recent days, I feel confident that what follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war. [Read more...]

Let’s apply Just War Theory

As Congress and the nation as a whole decide on whether to attack Syria, let us take up the exercise of applying the guidelines for starting a “Just War,” according to Christian ethicists going back to St. Augustine.

The criteria are listed after the jump.  How would they apply to the current proposal to use cruise missiles to punish Syria for using chemical weapons?

Even if a war would be just by these criteria doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea, but let’s see to what extent these ancient principles can offer guidance in a contemporary problem. [Read more...]

It’s looking bad for Obama’s war vote

Pretty much what I predicted is unfolding in Congress.  The growing consensus among both conservatives and liberals that attacking Syria is a bad idea should be celebrated as an instance of bi-partisanship, of once polarized factions coming together over foreign policy, a sign of national unity.  Too bad the President and the Democratic and Republican leadership aren’t part of it. [Read more...]

Our military as “Al-Qaeda’s Air Force”

Quote of the week:

“We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”

Ted Cruz, Senator (R, Texas)

[Read more...]

America’s wars are for virtue

Inconvenient truths from Henry Allen:

The United States doesn’t fight for land, resources, hatred, revenge, tribute, religious conversion — the usual stuff. Along with the occasional barrel of oil, we fight for virtue. [Read more...]

Only 29% of Americans want to attack Syria

According to two public opinion polls, very few Americans support the notion of attacking Syria.  According to a Pew study, only 29% of Americans are in favor of doing so.  And for all the talk of political polarization, there is a bipartisan consensus on this issue, with slightly more Republicans supporting President Obama in this (35%) than Democrats (29%, the same as for the public as a whole). [Read more...]


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