What Is the Purpose of the Military?

Laurence Vance, December 16, 2007

As I have written about over and over and over again, the purpose of the military should be to defend the country. That’s it. One would think that the Secretary of Defense would know that. Yet, in a recent speech before the Association of the United States Army, Robert Gates articulated the following role for the U.S. military:

“Army soldiers can expect to be tasked with reviving public services, rebuilding infrastructure and promoting good governance. All these so-called nontraditional capabilities have moved into the mainstream of military thinking, planning, and strategy—where they must stay.”

That is, anything but do what the military should do.




  • Cat IN Fog

    It is a shame that a youth had to die before someone close to them ask why. Cindy asked and no one can provide an answer.
    Why?
    There are close to 300,000,000 answers in the US alone, now add in the coalition of he willing and the cowardice of the unwilling and you geta lot more.
    Here are my answers;
    “The purpose of the military is the military.”
    “The nation state is no longer viable, the corporate state is without borders.”
    “The military has become part of a corporatized world economy and in fact is but a corproation.”
    “Today, in the US it is still public/private and has so far been capitalized by the populace but has grown into an organization that is world wide and integrated with so many other militry entities, these include armaments firms international and domestic, it is almost to the point it does not need US public support and can survive by selling its services on the worlds open markets.”
    “Its services are indeed what Gates says ,and such services will be done by its employees for a fee, it has not given up its main focus militry dominance in any environment, though at present it si forming smaller units for Special Operations those units are for protection of politcal interest more than for national Interest, and is in competiton with smaller firms such as Blackwater, for those contracts.’
    “The all volunteer militry is a right to work organization and employees sign a contract that is either fullfilled or penaltys are assesed.”
    They are truly a Mercenary Force.

  • Eugene Costa

    This was forwarded to me today, and in the context of some of the comments on this thread, I think it appropriate to post:

    New poll reveals how unrepresentative neocon Jewish groups are

    By Glenn Greenwald

    A new survey of American Jewish opinion, released by the American Jewish Committee, demonstrates several important propositions:

    (1) right-wing neocons (the Bill Kristol/Commentary/ AIPAC/Marty Peretz faction) who relentlessly claim to speak for Israel and for Jews generally hold views that are shared only by a small minority of American Jews;

    (2)viewpoints that are routinely demonized as reflective of animus towards Israel or even anti-Semitism are ones that are held by large majorities of American Jews;

    (3) most American Jews oppose U.S. military action in the Middle East — including both in Iraq and against Iran.

    It is beyond dispute that American Jews overwhelmingly oppose core neoconservative foreign policy principles. Hence, in large numbers, they disapprove of the way the U.S. is handling its “campaign against terrorism” (59-31); overwhelmingly believe the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq (67-27); believe that things are going “somewhat badly” or “very badly” in Iraq (76-23); and believe that the “surge” has either made things worse or has had no impact (68-30).

    When asked whether they would support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran, a large majority — 57-35% — say they would oppose such action, even if it were being undertaken “to prevent [Iran] from developing nuclear weapons.” While Jews hold views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which are quite pessimistic about the prospects for Israel’s ability to achieve a lasting peace with its “Arab
    neighbors,” even there, a plurality (46-43) supports the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    In the realm of U.S. domestic politics, it is even clearer that
    right-wing neoconservatives are a fringe segment of American Jewish public opinion. By a large margin, American Jews identify as some shade of liberal rather than conservative (43-25), and overwhelmingly identify themselves as Democrats rather than Republicans (58-15). And, most strikingly, by a 3-1 margin (61-21), they believe that Democrats, rather than Republicans, are “more likely to make the right decision about the war in Iraq,” and by a similarly lopsided margin (53-30), believe that Democrats are “more likely to make the right decision when it comes to dealing with terrorism.” They have overwhelmingly favorable views of the top 3 Democratic presidential candidates, and overwhelmingly negative
    views of 3 out of the top 4 GOP candidates (Giuliani being the sole exception, where opinion is split).

    Contrary to the bottomless obssession which most neocon pundits and office-holders have with All Matters Israel, the principal political concerns of most American Jews have nothing to do with the Middle East. Thus, they identify “economy/jobs” (22) and “health care” (19) — not Terrorism — as “the most important problem facing the U.S. today.”

    Still, most American Jews agree that “[c]aring about Israel is a very important part of [their] being a Jew” — a common, innocuous and indisputable attribute that typically triggers noxious charges of anti-Semitism if pointed out by those who oppose the neoconservative agenda.

    One of the defining traits of war-loving neoconservatives is that their unrelenting and exclusive fixation on the Middle East places them loudly at the center of any foreign policy debates. That tenacity — combined with their reckless exploitation of “anti-Israel” and anti-Semitism
    accusations as instruments in their political rhetoric and their corresponding, deceitful equation of their own views with being “pro-Israel” — often casts the appearance that they are some sort of spokespeople for the “pro-Israel” agenda or the Jewish viewpoint.

    Manifestly, they are nothing of the sort. Even among American Jews, they comprise only a small minority, and their generally discredited militarism is widely rejected by most Jews as well. It is always worth underscoring these points, which are so frequently (and deliberately) obscured, and this comprehensive poll provides potent — actually quite conclusive — evidence for doing so.

    [http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/12/12/ajc_poll/]

    _______________________________________________

  • the legendary Bill

    ” Tim R. ”
    I’m not a progressive or a liberal..Here’s a new word for you “paleo-conservative” ..No recent relatives in that terrorist organization known as the IDF or it’s uglier offshoots? That’s the part that bothered you? So you would enjoy video of Israeli soldiers pack-raping a 14-yr old arab girl ( one of the girls in question was shot afterward by the brave Israeli soldiers who are such wonderful allies ) ?
    Wow, seems like you’re the real scary one..

  • Eugene Costa

    Anyone see Charlie Wilson’s War? Boy, talk about party politics and getting laid. Anyone know who they cast as Osama Bin Ladin?

  • Eugene Costa

    Is one allowed to conjecture that Charlie Wilson’s War was perhaps planned and timed to appear just as Bush and Cheney have succeeded in reegineering the beginnings of a new Cold War–perhaps even something warmer than that–with the Russian Federation?

  • Eugene Costa

    Coincidences happen, naturally. If it is not a coincidence, however, tracking down the investors and financing might be of some interest.

  • Steve

    You are right about the military… however! Our governments sole purpose is to protect Us from foreign invaders (via through the Military)… and protect it’s citizens from harming eachother. That’s it… Right??? But the people fell asleep in this Country, and didn’t heed the Warning of Our Founding Fathers… therefore the Government has become Far Beyond what it was intended to be! Our Military now… has been expanded to protect the interests of the people in this Country of Ours. Grant it… there are those that have alterior motives… but the Military still has the Sworn Duty to Protect it’s Citizens irregardless what activists or the talking heads think!

    Without Our Military… You can Kiss Your Freedoms Goodbye!!! Like it or not… We have Many Privliges because of Them. You have the Right to speak out and protest against Them… because They have Given All of Us that Freedom to do so, by laying down Their Lives… just so You can have that! Maybe we all can just sit down and talk it out… till we all understand one another. That way… peace will abound. Yeah… Right???

    • Kenneth

      You are right about the military… however! Our governments sole purpose is to protect Us from foreign invaders (via through the Military)… and protect it’s citizens from harming eachother

      I believe that is the function of paramilitary organs such as the police.

      Grant it… there are those that have alterior motives… but the Military still has the Sworn Duty to Protect it’s Citizens irregardless what activists or the talking heads think!

      The military can make all the oaths it likes. Until we get a material demonstration of this “protection” (which was not forthcoming in New Orleans), votive proclamations of this sort will remain so much hot air.

      Without Our Military… You can Kiss Your Freedoms Goodbye!!! Like it or not… We have Many Privliges because of Them. You have the Right to speak out and protest against Them… because They have Given All of Us that Freedom to do so, by laying down Their Lives…

      The military is made necessary by others like themselves who wield undue influence abroad.

      Maybe we all can just sit down and talk it out… till we all understand one another. That way… peace will abound. Yeah… Right???

      That’s called “solving one’s problems like an adult” and is generally held to be the backbone of civil society.

    • Bill K.

      Having a Military is fine. A National Guard of citizen soldiers and a Coast Guard of volunteers can protect the nation from invasion. BUT, what the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have become are nothing more than Specialized Imperial Legions. They are not the Swiss Army.

      Consider how many US Military Bases there are around the globe. Over 600, even subtracting Embassies and Missions of similar purpose you are still left with about 400 facilities. 400 bases with US troops around the globe, almost twice the number of actual countries! Just in Germany the US has around 80,000 ground troops, enough to attack a fairly large European nation. These bases serve no “benevolent” purpose, their purpose is simple, CONTROL. The US can influence German politics because it has a whole Armored Division within driving distance of Berlin. You know why there is little love for France? They won’t allow US Military bases(this might change with Sarkozy). Most of the US “allies” have US military bases within their borders, so it should be no surprise that those countries “fall in” with US policies, they are not being generous, the US has them by the balls.

      Essentially the US Military Forces Globally serve EXACTLY THE SAME PURPOSE as the Roman Legions, yet on a much more grander scale. The Roman Empire looks like a joke compared to the US Empire(which stretches across the whole globe). They expended 1,000’s of troops to control North Africa and the Middle East, excluding Iraq and Afghanistan(which were never actually conquered by the Romans), the US does this with about 2,000 total. Iraq and Afghanistan are currently the only places where the local population is actively resisting US efforts to conquer them. And this requires over 170,000 troops to “pacify” the locals.

      The Romans never captured Germania successfully, but with extensive Soviet help the US was able to claim 1/3 of Germany. And now 62 years later the US has absolutely no plans to leave. The garrisons are in place. Like the Romans, the only way they are going to leave is if the Empire collapses and other “invaders” take over.

  • Bill K.

    The Legions serve the Empire and its Consul and Proconsuls, who today wield more power than the Sovereign of the land. The Legions can crush internal rebellions caused by the wrath of the god Neptune on the southern ports and those caused by weary laborers who are tired of war and conquest. They also crush the enemies of the Empire. Like the conquest of the occupied nation of Grenada which had been under the control of the barbarian craftsman from the island of Cuba.

  • Eugene Costa

    The military has not provided the United States with Freedom of Speech, nor any other freedom. The recognition of these freedoms as pre-existent to government in the Constitution, and in the Bill of Rights especially, provides and maintains such freedoms, including Freedom of Speech.

  • emma

    i looked up this cause my dad & older sis are fighting over wat the purpose of the millitary is.though,my sis is right by reading this sight.

  • http://bit.ly/1RnSBCo Home

    The Army should take over the Post Office and deliver my mail. Only then will their mission be complete

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  • Mexican taco eater

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