Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Widening Gap Between The Military and Society by Thomas E. Ricks

-The Atlantic Online

This piece appeared in The Atlantic Online in 1997. To date it is the best piece I have read regarding the culture war between the military and civilians. (Yes, a few things are a little outdated but it tackles a lot)

"In a striking indication of alienation from civilian society, an overwhelming proportion of the Basic School lieutenants -- 81 percent -- said that the military's values are closer to the values of the Founding Fathers than are the values of civilian society."

"What most congressmen know of the military is what they saw on television during the Gulf War. They learned two lessons: high-tech weaponry works, and the United States needs missile defenses."

"Overestimating the military is probably even more dangerous than believing that it is made up of incompetent buffoons, as Baby Boomers seemed to believe in the 1970s."

"With the evaporation of the Soviet Union, many Americans don't understand why the nation needs a large standing army. For the first time in its history (with the possible exception of the two decades preceding the Spanish-American War) the U.S. Army must justify its existence to the American people."



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