Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

The Rise of the Professional Military | Miller-McCune


In 1975 the American science fiction author Joe Haldeman, himself just back from Vietnam, wrote a “future history” novel called The Forever War. Joe saw then how a standing military and long standing threat (or perceived threat) could change society. He was right, as this article from Miller-McCune Magazine so clearly delineates.

…the professional military has taken the public out of the mix, something noted at the highest levels of government. Speaking at Duke University in September, Secretary of Defense Robert … noted the disconnect: “Whatever their fond sentiments for men and women in uniform, for most Americans the wars [in Iraq and Afghanistan] remain an abstraction. A distant and unpleasant series of news items that does not affect them personally … warfare has become something for other people to do.”

via The Rise of the Professional Military | Miller-McCune.

Author: Bill

Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

2 thoughts on “The Rise of the Professional Military | Miller-McCune

  1. I was a Marine in Viet Nam, so this article was of particular interest to me. I am very familiar with the cameraderie, especially as a member of ‘Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children’ as we jokingly referred to ourselves.
    What I cannot conceive is doing that not as a 19 year old, but as an older person who had already established a career with a wife and family. For that sacrifice, I bow my head in thanks to them with prayers for their safe return.
    What terrifies me is the fact that they are going back over and over again. I suffered from 1 deployment to Viet Nam- I can only guess at the emotional damage that is most surely being inflicted on our troops deployed in combat areas.
    My girlfriend is a Chief Supervisory Nurse and 2 of her nurses regularly leave with their respective units for the Middle East. We both are aware of that the damage caused by these multiple deployments and are dreading the dysfunction that will follow these veterans for the rest of their lives..

    • I totally understand your concern. I work in the addiction treatment field, and my wife is a therapist specializing in both addiction and grief and loss. The damage sustained by the vets who are (apparently) all in one piece is appalling and, as you mentioned, they’re serving multiple tours, not the year and a day that our generation faced. “Four and a wakeup” can be a cruel joke for them.

      And that’s the ones who come home “intact.” The way they now treat the emotionally wounded — tricking them into Section 8’s so that they get no pension, and all the rest of the neglect through omission and commission — is a national disgrace. We huff, puff and blow about it, but after 10 years it’s still not up to speed. The people who come home missing limbs are better off in the long run than those poor people.

      But I worry just as much about the national attitude. Less than 1% of Americans have a real flesh and blood investment in the current wars. The rest watch TV and tsk-tsk when the casualties are mentioned (in 15-second bites) and then go back to “Idol” and root for people who don’t matter at all.

      Vhat a countrrry!

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