Nineteen years into a new century, with its forever wars on terror still ongoing across startlingly large stretches of the planet, the U.S. military is now turning as well to preparations for future wars with its so-called peer competitors (China and Russia). No surprise, then, that the country seems to be drowning in militarism and exhausting what's left of our democratic spirit. It has, in almost any imaginable sense, been swept up in a riptide of militarism.
As in the actual ocean, so in the ocean of militarism, such currents are escapable, but only by using the strokes of a functioning democracy that, in this Trumpian age, seem increasingly less available to us. Collectively, we would have to swim calmly on a course parallel to that rip current, evading its undertow of relentless violence, until we finally escaped its pull. Only then could we turn and swim vigorously toward something generationally meaningful: a shared commitment to averting and ending the all-too-real horrors of today's forever wars.
William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history. A TomDispatch regular, he runs his own blog, Bracing Views. Check out his interview with Scott Carrier here on escaping America's militaristic rip current.
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Copyright 2019 William J. Astore