This weeks reading was Bacevichs’ “The Limits of Power.”
The definitions for the terms “forever war” and “long war” are essentially the same. They are wars on terror, on the bad. They don’t have a deadline or exit strategies. These wars are constantly battles, and can be seen as generational wars.
The 9/11 event had led the United States government to want to gain some type of control or relationship with the Islamic leaders of the middle east. In Bacevichs’ introduction, he mentioned Buchs war on “Islamofascism” and how its fought on behalf of liberty. In the “The American Freedom, Iraqi freedom” section of the reading talks on the Bush Administrations reactions to 9/11.
The department of defense had come to the consensus that Islamic world and reign needed readjustment in order for there to be peace. But with that, the US defense policy doesn’t allow for the US to be the aggressor. Meaning that if the US wants to “fix” the reign and influence of the Islamic military leaders, it must insert itself into previously established conflict and provide support for the ‘good guys.’ Apparently Reagan once said that all military equipment is made and used for peace, something that would support the Bush Admins decisions.
Another interesting idea that stood out to me from Bacevich’ reading was 9/11 and the introduction of the homeland security wasn’t the US changing into something it was not, more it had become more itself.
It goes with the defense policy in the sense that the US was “made” or “destined” to protect. And in order to protect itself with it’s “freedom” and home, there has to be this empire, this control or management of foreign issues.
I do wonder what would happen if the US would retreat from issues that don’t directly affect it. Of course, there would be disliking from people that had previously fought, and there may be retaliation, but what would it be like after other countries decided that the US isn’t worth the time. Not because it isn’t strong enough, but because we would stay within our lane, our direct interests.
The US and politics seem very self-interest driven to me; do you think the armed forces reflect that? What do we gain from engaging in these long wars? What happens to us if we withdraw? The role of “peacekeeper” the US has placed upon itself is a large one. Why take most of the responsibility?