03 janvier 2015

JF : The Tragedy of the American Military




USA - Per-capita military enlistments from 2000 to 2010, grouped by 3-digit zip code
Map design and development: Frankie Dintino. Sources: Department of Defense, US Census Bureau


The Tragedy of the American Military

The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.
James Fallows, The Atlantic, January/February 2015

« As I listened to Obama (MacDill Air Force Base, 17.09.2014) that day in the airport and observed the hum of preoccupied America around me, I thought that the parts of the presidential speech few Americans were listening to were the ones historians might someday seize upon to explain the temper of our times.
If I were writing such a history now, I would call it Chickenhawk* Nation, based on the derisive term for those eager to go to war, as long as someone else is going. It would be the story of a country willing to do anything for its military except take it seriously. As a result, what happens to all institutions that escape serious external scrutiny and engagement has happened to our military ».

* va-t-en-guerre ? A chickenhawk is a person in a position of public prominence or power who displays Aggressive support for military force / A documentable lack of combat experience

Il évoque les dépenses astronomiques (4% du revenu national), liées à une fois infinie dans la technologie de pointe (F 35, drones…) et l’incapacité à remporter la victoire et à établir une paix durable. Il décrit le rôle d’officiers ambitieux qui pensent surtout à leur seconde carrière comme consultants salariés par les fabricants d’armes. Les Américains sont prompts à dénoncer le poids des impôts, les échecs du système médical ou du système scolaire. Mais l'armée et les militaires échappent à tout débat démocratique sérieux.

« Every institution has problems, and at every stage of U.S. history, some critics have considered the U.S. military overfunded, underprepared, too insular and self-regarding, or flawed in some other way. The difference now, I contend, is that these modern distortions all flow in one way or another from the chickenhawk basis of today’s defense strategy.
At enormous cost, both financial and human, the nation supports the world’s most powerful armed force. But because so small a sliver of the population has a direct stake in the consequences of military action, the normal democratic feedbacks do not work ».

Deux cartes représentent l’origine géographique des soldats et celle des soldats tués lors des guerres d’Afghanistan et d’Irak.
Une troisième liste les industriels intéressés à la construction du F 35, un fiasco industriel et financier. (« Parts from the F-35 are sourced from over 250 locations around the globe, spanning 11 countries and, in the U.S., more than 90 congressional districts »)


Posté par clioweb à 08:00 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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