Breach of Trust Free read å 104

Andrew J. Bacevich ´ 4 Free read

Breach of Trust Free read å 104 ã A blistering critiue of the gulf between America's soldiers and the society that sends them off to war from the bestselling author of The Limits of Power and Washington RulesThe United States has been at war in Ira and Afghanistan for than a decade Yet as war has become normalized a yawning gap has opened between AmA blistering critiue of the gulf between America's soldiers and the society that sends them off to war from the bestselling author of The Limits of Power and Washington RulesThe United States has been at war in Ira and Afghanistan for than a decade Yet as war has become normalized a yawning gap has opened between America's soldiers and veterans and the society in whose name they fight For ordinary citizens as former secretary of defense Robert Gates has acknowledged armed conflict has become an abstraction and military servic. “In this way the bravery of the warrior underwrites collective civic cowardice while fostering a slack insipid patriotism” ― Andrew J Bacevich Breach of Trust How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their CountryAndrew Bacevich follows up on the threads he started with The Limits of Power and Washington Rules In this book he explores how the post Vietnam transformation of the military from a citizen soldier force to an all volunteer force has come with many unintended but not necessarily unseen costs Not the least of which is the expansion of long almost perpetual wars and a limited exposure of the real cost of wars to either the politicians or general population of our country The last letter I received from my older brother an Army helicopter pilot who served twice in Ira and twice in Afghanistan dealt with the idea of reconstituting the draft While Bacevich doesn't actually recommend the draft he does think a conversation about national service and the draft would be useful We have reached a point where our nation's imperial impulses have grown dangerous while at the same time we have relegated the cost to either future generations the lat two major wars were all fought with debt and a small cadre of professional warriors less than 1% of our nation's population If we have no skin financial or physical in the game we are likely to allow our leaders to continue to push us into perpetual war

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E something for other people to doIn Breach of Trust bestselling author Andrew J Bacevich takes stock of the separation between Americans and their military tracing its origins to the Vietnam era and exploring its pernicious implications a nation with an abiding appetite for war waged at enormous expense by a standing army demonstrably unable to achieve victory Among the collateral casualties are values once considered central to democratic practice including the principle that responsibility for defending the country should. Andrew Bacevich West Point graduate and veteran of the Vietnam War served through Desert Storm 1991 before retiring as a colonel to become a professor of history at Boston University and is today retired from thereWith this background Bacevich is worth hearing when he comments on the armed forces of the United States This book takes the reader through the evolution of the US Army it's activities the philosophies of it's leaders and most of all it's relationship to the people and government of the countryTo put it simply Bacevich makes the case that the change from a force of draftees to a volunteer force has been a disaster and in large part has brought US foreign policy to the mess it is in todayTracing army history from Nixon's ending of the draft in 1972 the pressure to find enough people to volunteer put necessity behind what appeared to be liberalization after the Vietnam War ended It was necessary to broaden eligibility for soldiering opening the field to women and the LGBT community in spite of griping by the old school generalsThe lesson learned from Vietnam was not what would appear to be the obvious one from that epic failure which was to avoid any such adventures in the future but to limit those in service to those wanting to serve This conveniently stopped the protesting within the corps that in Vietnam got to the point of the rank and file threatening the lives of their officers when the pointlessness of the war became impossible to ignore To attract people almost all the traditional grunt work was farmed out to private contractors No washing dishes or scrubbing down barracks Pay was increased Emphasis was placed on training be all you can be in the US Army The professional army something the founders of the US were very anxious to avoid was embracedWith all the outsourcing a host of private contractors joined the very profitable arms industry to finance an army of lobbyists to influence CongressWhile the move to volunteers brought euality of opportunity for those interested in a military career Bacevich warns that the armed force of the country has been severed from the democracy it represented when the draft was in force The professionals would not protest and would go anywhere and everywhere when ordered to do so even when pressed at great personal cost to return for service repeatedly Administrations in Washington need no longer fear the use of this obedient and willing fighting force in fact it can abuse itThus no end in sight to the 18 year operation in Afghanistan There is no resistance as in Vietnam Nobody can say they are forced to serve For the citizenry at home the army is forgotten Few serve because most don't want to and relieved of the call to duty long term wars and operations all over the globe can be forgotten What has always been a responsibility of citizenship is gladly given up The wealthy and famous unlike in WW2 escape completely from service without feeling guilty and a jobs program is achieved for the working class and the poor To be a patriot all you need is a support our troops magnet for the carThough Bacevich doesn't mention it the next step outsourcing the fighting to a purely mercenary army that likes to fight and is eager for action is waiting in the wings with Erik Prince of Blackwater and a former Navy Seal pushing for itThis book provides answers to anyone who wonders how a country that was hesitant to fight a real threat to democracy WW2 can now be active around the globe with over 800 military bases in a time of peace at home with no military threats to the United States It makes it clear why there was no peace dividend at the end of the Cold War It tells of how what appeared to be a conclusive action Desert Storm in 1991 was only the opening act of the intractable mess in Ira that continues long after the end of Saddam HusseinThe US is now a warfare state with arms exports our principle manufacturing export that only partially offsets the flood of consumer product imports Too many Americans benefit from endless conflict though at least we have an opponent of it on the national stage Tulsi Gabbard that is running her bid for the presidency on the issue And we shouldn't forget there is no victory to be hadBacevich writes well Two statements struck me in particular Reliance on an all volunteer forcesuits a long list of beneficiaries For those who ride the gravy train doing what's necessary to keep it rolling takes precedence over contemplating its ultimate destination or the wreckage left in its wakeReferring to the well known video of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watching the raid on Osama bin Laden This small group operating behind closed doors in Washington had rendered its decision; as an immediate conseuence a hardly larger group of Navy SEALS was executing a daring covert operation on the other side of the world An elite that conferred in secret was directing an elite that operates in secret with Americans offered a tiny alluring carefully selected after the fact glimpse of what had occurred Just as a distorted economic system has brought us too big to fail that continues on in spite of an epic crash that was not allowed to have conseuences to those who brought it on our professional volunteer army with endless war show the same terrible inertia that the American public has proven helpless to alter We know what is common to both the takeover of our government by lobbyists Andrew Bacevich does an excellent job of explaining how it happened with the military and why change must come

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Breach of TrustRest with its citizensCiting figures as diverse as the martyr theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the marine turned anti warrior Smedley Butler Breach of Trust summons Americans to restore that principle Rather than something for other people to do national defense should become the business of we the people Should Americans refuse to shoulder this responsibility Bacevich warns the prospect of endless war waged by a foreign legion of professionals and contractor mercenaries beckons So too does bankruptcy moral as well as fisca. Andrew Bacevich opens his latest book on Washington’s use of our military establishment with a July 4 2011 salute to American men and women serving in the armed forces Held at Fenway Park and sponsored jointly by the Pentagon and Boston Red Sox a gigantic ceremony with aircraft flyovers marshall music and a choral ensemble you can almost see the cynicism dripping from the author’s lips His point convincingly repeated and made throughout the book is that events like these and current policies embraced by our political leaders ease the collective consciences of America at large and take us off the hook We’ve supported our troops in a brief show and are now free to forget all that and get on with our lives Bacevich shows the composition of our military starting with WWII when we had the draft and most families had relatives fighting in Europe or the South Pacific In his view everyone “had skins in the game” A retired U S Army colonel and now professor of history and international relations at Boston University Bacevich speaks with compelling insight and evidence of detailed research The draft continued during the Korean War and followed with our vastly unpopular operation in Viet Nam to fight a political war instead of a military one As a precursor to what is now happening he cites examples of disobedience in the ranks with murders of officers by enlisted men “fragging” with grenades and other criminal incidents which the media made a point of not advertising I’m a retired USMC veteran of twenty four years and witnessed almost identical incidents during my time in RVN After Richard Nixon declared “victory” and pulled another one of his tricks by eliminating the draft slowly but surely the ranks of military volunteers began swelling Great efforts were made to entice minorities to volunteer for military service including better pay and signing up bonuses The percentage of African Americans serving in the military has grown and today we see women and gays allowed to serve in combat with virtually no restrictions In one short paragraph that made me skip a breath Bacevich notes as an aside that a woman medic cared for his son First Lieutenant A J Bacevich who was killed in combat north of Baghdad in 2007 Today we have a small volunteer force all with “skin in the game” while the greater American public is continually urged to support our troops Bacevich’s argument throughout is that we are not supporting our troops We’ve breached their trust and abandoned their care to a group in Washington with their own agenda not to mention contractors of the military industrial complex the guys Dwight Eisenhower warned us about who are profiting from our excursions in Ira and Afghanistan Bacevich shows us the downside troops serving multiple tours of combat duty in each of those countries the heartbreaking results of PTSD divorces broken families and alarmingly increased rates of suicide He points out that many Reservists have been called up for active duty to fill necessary gaps a clearly broken contract between Washington leadership and reserve units which should be used only in the event of wars declared by Congress Bacevich concludes with recommendations for resumption of a law mandating some kind of national service Not a draft per se but an obligation to serve in the armed forces an organization like the Peace Corps or perform some other type of civic duty The unstated dilemma is that if the U S is ever again faced with a large scale war we could be faced with the kind of rapid mobilization experienced just before WWII and the Korean War Preparation for such conflicts ie sweating in peacetime means less bleeding in wartime will be to our advantage in the long run This book should be read by each member of Congress every person in the Pentagon and all members of the White House In addition anyone considering enlisting in any of our armed forces should be given a chance to read this book and change his or her mind before raising a hand and swearing to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic The pity is that none of these people will probably read it and we’ll go about our merry way letting that small contingent of our all volunteer forces do their honorable duty in response to the whims and caprices of Washington politicians