Columnist Andrew Bacevich recently wrote an article for the Dallas Morning New entitled “Why America’s All Volunteer Force Fails To Win Wars.” The article makes the point that something is seriously wrong with the US military. While most of the article is couched in politically-correct innuendo and a studied avoidance of the real problems, it at least has the merit of pointing out the obvious. And this is that the military has sold out the martial virtues, and replaced them with something else.
Bacevich starts off on shaky ground when he makes the claim (dubious at best) that the US military is “by common consent the world’s finest, even history’s finest.” The arrogance of the this statement is profound, but this is in keeping with the American penchant for self-congratulatory hyperbole. Despite being so great, Bacevich laments, the US is still “unable to win its wars.”
Why is this? According to Bacevich, the reason lies in the fact that the nation’s “military mission is out of sync with its military ambitions.” At the core of the problem, he continues, is that far too few Americans are invested in the grandiose military projects that the American ruling elites have decreed, like invading Iraq and pacifying Afghanistan:
Crucially, this indifference toward wars in which Americans as a whole are so little invested allows policymakers to continue those wars in perpetuity, with few questions asked. War thereby becomes a normal condition, with peace at best a theoretical proposition.
The complaint here is not that in a time of protracted armed conflict a mere 1 percent serve. Rather, the complaint is that the other 99 percent find the arrangement and ensuing results tolerable. A conspiracy of silence, or perhaps a clamor of hollow cheerleading, shields our prevailing military system from critical scrutiny. Political and military leaders collaborate in ignoring its shortcomings. The great majority of Americans finds it expedient to go along.
This may be true, but whose fault is this? The American people had little or no say in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. That was mandated by the neo-conservative clique who ran the Bush administration, and, to a lesser extent, the Obama administration.
But Bucevich does come close to identifying the real problem. He skirts around the edges of the problem, and nibbles here and there on the margins. Of course, he can’t come out and say it, for fear that he would lose his comfortable media position. It remains for truly independent news outlets—like Return Of Kings—to speak openly and honestly. No one else will. Here, he says, is the crux of the problem:
To fulfill its self-imposed obligations as sole superpower, the United States would need a citizenry that subscribes to the warrior-patriot’s code: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. How sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s country. Most Americans are far more likely to subscribe to the code vividly displayed each weekend in Style sections of newspapers. There, the appeal of dying for one’s country takes a backseat to the latest tips on relationships, restaurants, recipes, street wear, household furnishings, and places to be seen.
What Bucevich is really saying here is this: America lacks a true warrior-patriot ethic. And on this point, I agree with him. How could it be otherwise? America has spent the past forty years shaming and denigrating that ethic by systematically removing masculine virtue from the public sphere. Could we expect any different outcome?
It is characteristic of the modern media to avoid asking the real questions, and to avoid giving the real answers. If we really want to know why the US currently lacks the “warrior-patriot” ethic, we need look no further than that modern state of masculinity in the US. Instead of praising or encouraging the attempts at a “masculine renaissance” (which is the essence of the manosphere), journalists like Bucevich are the first to line up to condemn it for its perceived “misogyny” and lack of adherence to politically correct mantras.
These are the real reasons why America lacks a true warrior-patriot ethic. They will come as no surprise to readers of this site, but others may find the summary useful:
1. The warrior-patriot virtue is grounded in masculinity. Destroy one, and you destroy the other. It is beyond debate that masculine virtue has been under severe attack by political correctness, feminism, pro-gay media culture, and the continuing effort to rewrite history in a way that marginalizes or denigrates the achievements of European patriarchies. A man will not fight for a system that devalues and denigrates him.
2. The continuing infiltration of feminist doctrines into the military. The unrelenting push to put women in combat and remove any barriers between the genders is setting the stage for military softness, alienation, and lack of readiness. The message to men is clear, and unrelenting: you don’t matter. We don’t value you or anything you stand for.
3. The cowardly acquiescence of the generals and leaders in Washington. Men key off of the examples set by their superiors. When they see that the generals in Washington are not standing up for them, but are simply going along with all the politically-correct social engineering projects coming from Congress and the media, they draw their own conclusions. The conclusion is this: these guys are all chickenshits who care only about their own careers. Why should I care if they don’t?
4. The continuing infiltration of pro-gay and pro-transgender propaganda in the military. There is a sense that the military has become one vast social engineering project. Actually it is not just a sense, but a reality. Dissenters who fail to get on board with the new priorities (i.e., coddling misfits) will find themselves purged. With privileged special classes the rule now, a regular, normal man can hardly say or do anything without running afoul of the Orwellian thought police. The effect on morale is ultimately crippling, and is not being addressed.
5. The continuing of infiltration of “rape” and “sexual harassment” propaganda into the military. Again, the message is being put out that males need be bludgeoned into submission to politically-correct mantras. With a completely gender-mixed environment, sexual contacts are going to happen. It is inevitable. And yet, when they do, the military retreats to the comfortable hypocrisies of yesteryear: that men are always aggressors, and women are always victims. For the average man who is just trying to do his job, it is a no-win situation.
6. There is an increasing sense that the wars in the Middle East were undertaken not for the benefit of the US as a nation, but for the benefit of domestic elites, foreign powers, or entrenched cabals with their own agendas. To inspire a man to fight for something, he must feel that it matters to him, and that the issues affect him directly.
These, then are the real reasons why the US lacks a “warrior-patriot” ethic. The problem is that the entire US culture flies in the face of this ethic. If we really want a warrior-patriot ethic, it will have to be established from the ground up. If your culture celebrates and promotes shit, it will produce shit. The price of all this will be paid when the US actually has to fight a real war, not just some colonialist adventure. When that happens, all of the politically correct bullshit will go out the window so fast it will boggle the imagination.
Politicians will have to start listening—and I mean really listening—to what is happening in the worlds and subcultures of men. When has the mainstream ever taken notice of the manosphere, except to lie about it, or malign it? There are some truly revolutionary voices here, and there is some great writing here. But no one is listening. The entire American cultural value system will have to change. Nothing short of a cultural revolution will suffice. Degenerate, corrupt, and sick philosophies will have to be thrown out the window, and new ones embraced.
This will happen either voluntarily (which seems unlikely) or it will happen involuntarily, in the wake of a catastrophic military defeat. The choice is ours.
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