Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A small amendment to Walt's 'America the brittle?'

I agree with most of this post by S. Walt, on a quick reading. He's right about threat inflation, for one thing. One passage I'd amend is the one in which Walt says that if U.S. forces are showing signs of fatigue and being stretched thin, it's because of bad strategic choices by policymakers. That's surely part of it, but how about multiple deployments (for the same soldier) and the length of tours? That's got to be a factor, and that's not necessarily solely a matter of bad strategic choices. It's also because the burden of carrying out missions, whether well-conceived or ill-conceived, falls on a very small percentage of the population. This is one consequence of having a professional army, an "all-volunteer" (as opposed to a conscripted) force. Without getting into the pros and cons of that, Walt might have at least acknowledged the issue.

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