Perspective, Not Pedestal

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One-time Army Ranger turned think-tank dweeb Andrew Exum, now at the Center for a New American Security, says the pedestal that American society has placed its military atop since 9/11 is “unhealthy”:

…American society as a whole has developed a dysfunctional relationship with its men and women in uniform. The relationship has grown into a bizarre form of hero-worship, where servicemen and women are considered to be some kind of über-citizen more deserving of rights than the average, nonserving citizen.

…we have a professional military in which men and women provide a public service — like police officers or emergency medical technicians — but are elevated to the highest echelons of publicly bestowed honor. This ambiguity hinders our ability to make even basic reforms to the military pay and benefits that will soon cripple the defense budget. And it contributes to the creation of a praetorian guard that threatens rather than protects the fabric of our society.

Read the full thing over at World Politics Review via Exum’s Abu Muqawama blog, which will give you free access to the usually pay-walled site.