How to prevent future Afghanistan? Demand national service

Published: 08/17/2021 4:00:09 PM Some will say, “We have lost Afghanistan. The point is, “we” never “got” it. It was evident 20 ye...



Published: 08/17/2021 4:00:09 PM

Some will say, “We have lost Afghanistan. The point is, “we” never “got” it.

It was evident 20 years ago that the United States’ participation in a civil war in the Middle East was a losing proposition from the start. The more important question is: why was the United States involved in another country’s civil war for two decades? The answer, of course, is complex and will be the subject of endless debate: The United States was outraged by the terrorist attacks of September 11, and the public demanded military action in response. The administration of George W. Bush was looking for a pretext for an invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, the tyrant who had embarrassed Bush’s father when he was president.

But the underlying reason for America’s seemingly endless wars in the Middle East? The pride that’s built on the myth of American exceptionalism and our God-given right – indeed, our obligation – to engage in nation-building around the world. I remember a bumper sticker: “Be nice to America, or we’ll bring democracy to your country then.” ”

How to avoid such debacles in the future? The most relevant question is, how can we ensure that the American people are fully aware of and engaged in the foreign policy decisions made by their own government?

I believe that a national service requirement for all young Americans would strongly encourage this kind of citizen participation. Every capable young American, rich or poor, regardless of gender, should be required to perform some national service, the first option being service in the armed forces.

While alternative service, including working with children, the elderly, planting trees on federal lands, infrastructure, etc., would be available for those who do not wish to serve in the military, the first requirement should be that all Americans acquire an understanding of weapons and the consequences of their use.

There should be no way out of this duty. What the United States currently has is essentially a mercenary force: only those who feel attracted to military service and those who, for economic, cultural, or other reasons, believe that military service is their best choice when faced with limited alternatives. , register.

This is wrong, fundamentally unfair and contrary to the creation of a population that cares deeply about the foreign policy of its government. In short, we need to end voluntary service and restore conscription – conscription – and that should be absolute. No postponement, no excuse to avoid basic military training.

Every American should have “the skin in the game”. Then and only then will Americans be able to answer President Biden’s recent question: “We already have members of our military whose parents fought in Afghanistan 20 years ago.” Would you also send their children and their grandchildren? Would you send your own son or daughter?

If it was my son or daughter who was told to go and fight in another country’s civil war, the answer would be clear: “No.

Alex Kent lives in Amherst.



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Newsrust - US Top News: How to prevent future Afghanistan? Demand national service
How to prevent future Afghanistan? Demand national service
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