MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Military Entitlement Complex

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2022

By Doug Hague

Do I want to support America’s Veterans? Of course! I am one. But after serving over eighteen years on active duty and, in some capacity, serving in the Army for a total of twenty-two years, I can attest that our service members, at an individual level, have largely become an economic drain on America. I have watched for years the transition of the great American military to a great American entitlement system.

Since the founding of our nation the American Soldier has valiantly stood on the battlefield facing evil to protect and defend the American way of life. He is willing to sacrifice everything, even lay down his life for this great nation. In the meantime, hard working Americans, those very Americans the service members have sworn to protect, are charged with the impossible duty of financing it all. Whether these Americans are paying with their taxes, or paying through inflation, they are definitely paying. In their own, very real way, they are also sacrificing to protect America by funding the military and they are feeling it big at the moment – perhaps even losing. The protection of the American way of life goes well beyond what takes place on the battlefields. The Soldier may ensure life and liberty, but there will be no pursuit of happiness if there is not any hope for Americans to ever attain it.

Military doctrine has long taught service members to conduct combat on land, at sea, and in the air. More recently, the domains of space and cyber have been added to the list signifying a tremendously more dynamic environment for service members to protect our nation in. In today’s modern age, we see that these domains are still not enough. A much more holistic approach must be taken. Battles against the American way of life are being fought, but there is no battlefield. The American way of life is being crushed economically. If the Soldier is willing to give his life on the battlefield to protect it, it would seem he should also be willing to sacrifice economically, along with his fellow Americans, to ensure its survival.

How are the military services contributing to protecting America from this perspective? At what point are the military services no longer ensuring the American way of life and instead, actually hindering it through massive costs? There must be some logical balance between cost and benefit. At the moment it feels like our beautiful America is teetering on the edge of major economic hardship and yet, we are so quick to pass major spending bills for military service members and veterans.

In combat, we “dig in” to defend ourselves, meaning we dig trenches and fighting positions for protection, place early warning systems and obstacles to impede our enemy, overlap our weapons systems’ fields of fire, map out surrounding terrain with range cards and communicate our defense strategy across our force. “Digging in” has become a term to indicate that we are doing the work required to ensure we endure and prevail over what comes ahead. As a nation, we are not “digging in” economically to protect ourselves. We are doing quite the opposite in fact. In the economic domain of protecting America, our service members and former service members are screaming “give me more!” rather than continuing their service to our nation.

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