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The Military, Unleashed

December 31, 2013, 3:51 pm

This:

Until the pendulum swings back and Congress proves willing to issue declarations of war in circumstances that permit no-holds-barred fighting, the military will continue to be asked to act with finesse.

is a myth. There has never been an American war in which Congress permitted “no-holds-barred fighting.” Even in World War II, perhaps as close as we’ve ever gotten, the US deliberately refrained from using chemical or biological weapons. The US has always limited what it is willing to do in wars, sometimes to a greater degree, sometimes to a lesser. Imagining that it hasn’t doesn’t help our understanding of the past, or our understanding of the present.

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