According to Chuck Hagel, “The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have not resonated with this generation the way previous wars did with other generations–largely because most Americans are disconnected from the burden and sacrifices of these wars. Less than 1 percent of our population is carrying all the burden, making all the sacrifices, and doing all the fighting and dying in these wars. There is no draft–no direct link to these wars for the other 99 percent of our population.”
The 1% fighting our wars is not the same 1% as the top 1% of income earners in our economy. What if it were the same 1%? The most fortunate among us would be compelled by custom and law to be the 1% fighting our wars. I believe it would be a much more peaceful world. When Rome was in its twilight years as an empire, some of the sons of Rome’s most privileged citizens had the thumb on their sword hand amputated so that they could not wield a sword and fight for their country. Are we the majority of Americans still willing to shoulder our responsibility to defend the nation?
- Doug Bandow: Chuck Hagel: Finally, a Pentagon Chief Who Despises War (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why the Hagel Nomination Matters (cato.org)