Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Day, A Non-militaristic Military

Adm. Mullen says let openly gay soldiers serve

No one wants to be regarded as a complete loon. Accordingly, despite my sweeping anti-militarist condemnations of U.S. militarism and our bloated military budget (and weapons industry), I wish to stipulate that, yes, we do need a military. Though the one we have is probably too large by half, it should also be stipulated that the one we need ought to be competitive--larger, for instance, than the Vatican's Swiss Guard, but smaller, say, than the combined military of all Europe.

Further, if we are going to have one, the more it looks like America, the more appropriate (and less militaristic) it will be. It's also worth noting that we may very well be moving toward that ideal. Yesterday, Armed Forces chief Mike Mullen told Congress that it's time to do away with "don't ask, don't tell" and allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Though Mullen's statement will certainly heat up one front in the culture wars, it is good news; progressives should hear it as a call to action. Though it may be premature, someone ought to begin taking nominations for the first female chair of the joint chiefs.

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