The Real State Of The U.S. Military


An M-2 Bradley combat vehicle at the “Salute to America” Independence Day celebration. Tom Brenner / Reuters

Thomas G. Mahnken & Roger Zakheim, The Atlantic: Antiques Road Show: The Real State of the U.S. Military

The wars of the future may depend not so much on the kinds of things you can put on parade, but on new technologies that reimagine warfare.

That a military display on Independence Day proved to be controversial should not be surprising, even if one discounts the partisan tone of much of the criticism. Americans tend not to favor displays of military power, except in the aftermath of successful wars: The Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the 1991 Gulf War were all followed by parades. Military displays nonetheless have the benefit of showing the American people what their investment in national defense has yielded. Contrary to President Donald Trump’s assertion that “our nation is stronger today than it ever was before,” the “Salute to America” looked more like a military antiques road show than a display of a 21st-century military power.


WNU Editor:A sobering essay on the state of the U.S. military today.

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