Juan Cole, a leading academic on middle eastern and south asian affairs, sees this as a possibility in the aftermath of the apparent massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan by a US soldier.
Americans in general should rethink our policy of perpetual war and constant foreign intervention, of war as a standing industry with lobbies and paid-for TV spokesmen, purveyed by all the US news networks to keep us hooked on foreign deployments.Well worth it to read Cole's whole piece:
War should be rare and a last resort.
One thing Panetta got right is that the UN Charter should govern it, so that we can finally put the crimes of the Axis behind us as we move into the 21st century.
War should either be for self-defense after an attack, or it should be to preserve dire threats to international order as deemed by the UN Security Council. Otherwise, it is not just a problem of a rogue sergeant, or of a rogue base.
It will increasingly be a problem of a rogue nation.
The soldier's home base had issues with not properly treating those with injuries and mental heath concerns.
The shooter was from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, the leadership of which has a long history of prioritizing deployments over making sure that soldiers with brain injuries and possible Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are properly treated. The base has been plagued by suicides, spousal abuse, and soldiers going berserk abroad.
The military has done a poor job in educating and training soldiers and marines who are abroad to respect and understand the culture of the residents who live there.
British officers who served with Americans in Iraq were shocked and appalled at the sheer racism they often encountered among their US colleagues, complaining that Americans viewed locals as Untermenschen, a lesser race as the Nazis would have put it. Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome often went untreated.US Special Operations Command now has deployments in 60% of the nations in the world. President Obama has expanded these deployments over that of his predecessor.
Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. “We do a lot of traveling -- a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said recently. This global presence -- in about 60% of the world’s nations and far larger than previously acknowledged -- provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.http://www.alternet.org/...
Andrew Bacevich, is perhaps the most insightful and knowledgable person on the current aims of the US military.
Nearly 20 years ago, a querulous Madeleine Albright demanded to know: “What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?” Today, an altogether different question deserves our attention: What’s the point of constantly using our superb military if doing so doesn’t actually work?The bottom line is the United States has lost its way, and its military actions around the globe are a net negative....a negative to the people around the planet and a negative to the health of our own country.
Washington’s refusal to pose that question provides a measure of the corruption and dishonesty permeating our politics.
I'll repeat what Juan Cole said: "War should be a are and last resort".