I’ve written before about how discarding constitutional notions of war has trivialized the use of the military. We never declare war anymore, so we’ve become used to the idea of using the military for operations that we call “Peacekeeping,” or “Military Operations Other Than War,” or, my personal favorite, “Kinetic Actions.” This allows politicians to avoid the risk of taking stands for or against a war, even as they wager the lives of thousands of young Americans.
I’ve heard this referred to as the “militarizing of our foreign policy.” We send troops to do everything from killing bad guys (a use I wholeheartedly endorse, as long as Congress declares war) to handing out bottled water and building schools. The irony though, is that as we increase the number of tasks we consider legitimate military missions, the military becomes correspondingly less-prepared to do those select tasks that make us truly useful in the defense of the nation. Our foreign policy may be militarized, but our military must become less-so. This fact cannot be lost on those who wish us ill.