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Volume 30 • Number 2

April 2016



The Moral Exploitation of Soldiers

by Michael Robillard and Bradley J. Strawser

In a 2013 article for the Washington Post, Sebastian Junger described the typical US soldier’s relationship to both war and to the society for whom he or she fights as follows:

Recently I was a guest on a national television show, and the host expressed some indignation when I said that soldiers in Afghanistan don’t much discuss the war they’re fighting. The soldiers are mostly in their teens, I pointed out. Why would we expect them to evaluate U.S. foreign policy?
          The host had made the classic error of thinking that war belongs to the soldiers who fight it. That is a standard of accountability not applied to, say, oil-rig workers or police. The environment is collapsing and anti-crime measures can be deeply flawed, but we don't expect people in those fields to discuss national policy on their lunch breaks.

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ISSN: 2152-0542