Andrew Bacebich reviewed James Wright’s Those Who Have Borne the Battle (PublicAffairs 2012), and addressed a growing divide between U.S. citizens and the military establishment they subsidize. It’s more than “. . .the places like Iraq and Afghanistan [where] the United States still fights ambiguous no-win wars of elusive objectives.” Wright is concerned with a lack of engagement by cit
izenry (apart from defense contractors, I must hasten to add). “A public disengagement from military service has lost an important check on Washington’s inclination to use force, with the result that the troops professed to be held in high regard are repeatedly misused and abused. Meanwhile, the v
acuous symbols like bumper stickers and pregame ceremonials that have supplanted substantive engagement between citizens and soldiers invite mockery and derision” (NYT Book Review, 27 May 2012, p 14).
In 2007, reviewer Bacevich, a history professor and former soldier himself, lost a son in the Iraq War.