America as a war state


“Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it’s hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere (usually, in fact, many places) at any moment.” . . .

What a world might be like in which we began not just to withdraw our troops from one war to fight another, but to seriously scale down the American global mission, close those hundreds of bases—as of 2010, there were almost 400 of them, macro to micro, in Afghanistan alone—and bring our military home is beyond imagining. To discuss such obviously absurd possibilities makes you an apostate to America’s true religion and addiction, which is force. However much it might seem that most of us are peaceably watching our TV sets or computer screens or iPhones, we Americans are also—always—marching to war. We may not all bother to attend the church of our new religion, but we all tithe. We all partake. In a sense we live peaceably in a state of war.


4 Responses to America as a war state

  1. rightsaidfred says:

    Can’t disagree too much, but some of this comes to us.

    The past is no guide for more peace, or less military. We aren’t all that military compared to the past. In the Boer War, the British sent 300,000 plus men to SA, at a time of horse, buggy, sail/hand shoveled coal, not much cash, all for a war that was for what?

    • Foseti says:

      I agree – clearly there is a difference in the way we fight wars.

      However, if you compare the number of US troops deployed during “peace time” to the number of British troops deployed at the height of their empire, the former is a much, much larger number.

  2. K(yle) says:

    The population (and resources, et cetera) of the US today is a much, much larger number than that of Imperial GB. The English of that era would have liked a larger military if it could have sustained one. If they had our resources they certainly would have had our military. They probably would have had something much bigger and more fearsome for that matter.

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