Their last full measure / by kevin murray

The United States is involved in far too many wars, logistics of wars, and rumors of wars, for its own good and for the good of its men and women that serve them in our military.  Decisions that are made that put our soldiers at risk, should not be lightly regarded, should not be made unless absolutely necessary, and if made, should be made with an expressed purpose and specific goal.  Instead, the industrial-military complex finds all sorts of reasons for our soldiers to be put into harm's way again and again and again.  It isn't necessary, it isn't American, and it isn't our way.


The United States has so many entangling alliances with so many different countries, it clearly doesn't know that the primary purpose of our government and of our military is to protect our homeland and not to engage in foreign battles far from our shores that puts our soldiers at risk.  The majority of these men and women that fight for us are under the age of 30, in which it is their lives, their health, and their bodies that are put at risk on behalf of the …. the American people?  …Multi-national corporations?  …Military-industrial complex?  I mean is it necessary for our American soldiers to be at risk in Afghanistan, Philippines, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Sahara, and Yemen, which are all countries which have seen our boots on the ground over the last several years?


Our soldiers deserve something much better.  A war, any war, should be well considered before it is acted on.  America is a country that is a member of NATO, the United Nations, and so many other organizations, in which none of these structures appear to have much influence or ability to rein in American global military aspirations. 


Wars have consequences, and not just for the American men and women that are sacrificed in the conduct of these wars but also for the countries and civilians that are directly involved in the war on their land.  War is seldom the correct answer for international problems in which there are numerous other ways to help to settle differences between countries, within countries or their borders, which does not necessitate actual engaged or extended warfare.


What is often not thought carefully enough about is that killing people, bombing infrastructure, annihilating essential human needs, and disrupting normal day-to-day operations of a country is not a civilized way to take care of disputes.  Communications have never been better for country to country, or people to people, in which a reasonable alternative to war can often be reached if only given the chance and a voice at the table.


There are times when a war is necessary, when it is right to defend yourself and your homeland from aggressive attacks from wanton nations or peoples, but the wars that America fights today are not those wars.  America and our world at large are not in danger of any of these so-called rogue nations creating enough havoc to upend the world as we know it.  The truth of the matter is that we are asking our soldiers too often to give their last full measure in causes that are unworthy of their sacrifice.


It shouldn't have to be.