Several readers have sent me a link to “The Tragedy of the American Military” by James Fallows, an article in the current issue of The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/…/the-tragedy-of-the-ame…/383516/ I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who thinks I’m just a disgruntled former employee of the Army.
My readers say Fallows echoes many of my complaints about the U.S. military. Indeed, albeit in a more-suitable-for-polite-company way. That sort of punch-pulling belies the seriousness of the situation and the urgency of the need to fix it.
Also, I am a West Point grad, airborne ranger, Vietnam vet. Fallows is none of the above. Fallows is 3 years younger than I. His education is Harvard College and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. I also have a Harvard MBA. During Vietnam, Fallows said he was a war protester who avoided the draft by deliberately and legally flunking the physical. In other words, he could have served if he wanted to.
I find no generic fault with his war protesting or flunking the physical, but it did diminish his ability to be as effective as a writer about the military as he would have been had he served. But for a guy who never served, his writing is about as good and accurate as it could be. And we who did serve need some guys from outside the military to recognize the same problem we recognize. Indeed, I have noted that those who did not serve are almost invariably afraid to criticize the military because of their not having served. Fallows, to his credit, does not suffer from that.
Like I said, Fallows’ writing about the military is a bit more suited for polite company than mine. That’s probably because he was never in the room getting “slapped around” figuratively speaking as I was repeatedly when I was an officer. John McCain probably can’t do very well in a polite-company discussion of torturing prisoners either.
My numerous writings about the military are at www.johntreed.com/military.html.
Also, the clone of me in my forthcoming novel (The Unelected President) pretty much takes care of all Fallows’ and my criticisms of the military. No “endless wars we can’t win” in the novel.
Copyright 2015 by John T. Reed
Link to information about John T. Reed’s Succeeding book which, in part, relates lessons learned about succeeding in life from being in the military