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Webb: We’ve become “blase” about use of military force over last 10 years


In his Politico interview, Jim Webb has a lot to say about foreign policy and the use (or, perhaps more accurately, misuse) of the U.S. military. Among other things, Webb feels that we’ve become far too “blase” over the past 10-11 years about using military force around the world. Webb specifically calls for pulling out of Iraq and rethinking what we’re doing in Afghanistan; questions why we’re participating in a NATO campaign against Qaddafi; says Congress isn’t fully participating in these debates (and has been “frozen out”); and lots more. I agree with some of what Webb has to say, disagree with some, but overall find what he has to say to be thought provoking, as is almost always the case when Webb speaks on foreign policy, military, and national security matters.

  • Mike1987

    I agree. Being former military and serving at unpleasant places where people were not thrilled with my presence, we are a bit casual with using military power. Military power is “people”, human beings.  We have so distanced ourselves from war that it almost seems like a video game and the characters are not real, only the money. They are, and they bleed, sometimes not physically.

  • Glen Tomkins

    Until the end of WWII, we had always previously pretty much dibanded our army in between wars.  Not totally disbanded, but pretty close.  Under those conditions, there had to be Congressional approval before we could become involved in a war, because there had to be a vote to appropriate the funds to raise the army needed to fight the war.

    Since WWII, since we have kept standing armed forces in peacetime, of course they are committed without the involvement of Congress.  Congress has abdicated its control over questions of war and peace by voting permanent armed forces with no mission other than to be available for the president to commit to some war or other.  So, of course, presidents do just that, commit us to wars, wisely or otherwise, and Congress isn’t really consulted unless some sort of photo op is wanted for the propaganda value of Congress voting to authorize the war.  Congress doesn’t want to be consulted.  If they did, they would stop voting to maintain armed forces in peacetime that willinevitably be used without their consent.

    We don’t need some sort of more clever War Powers Act.  We just need to get rid of standing armed forces.  Save a bunch of money and get us back actual democratic control over the most consequential decision a govt can make.