Education: The Military’s First and Best Line of Defense

The concept now usual amongst some defense officials that formal study room-primarily based education is either expendable or pointless flies inside the face of millennia of historical precedent. Brilliant strategists and military leaders not most effective tend to have had excellent educations, but maximum acknowledge the cost and impact in their mentors. The role name of the intellectual warriors is possibly the first-rate argument in support of schooling armies to assume: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E. Lee, Erwin Rommel, George Patton, Chester Nimitz.

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In stark evaluation, we can cite familiar military leaders whose educations have been, let’s consider, lackluster: the Duke of Wellington (he beat Napoleon–slightly–after a slugging 7-yr campaign), Ulysses Grant, George Custer, Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goering, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Manuel Noriega. For these men, navy victories frequently depended on success over strategies, overwhelming force over modern planning, and foot soldiers greater scared of their masters than the enemy.

I am a moderate, neither “purple” nor “blue,” with leanings in both camps. I firmly resist a draft; however, I support (and turned into once a part of) ROTC. When I study that Columbia University had voted overwhelmingly to ban the Reserve Officer Training Corps from returning to the campus, I felt that the idea of academic freedom itself had been violated. It isn’t always the university’s vicinity to impose fee judgments or decree on moral problems. Instead, universities were supposed to be locations wherein minds may want to go among an extensive range of viewpoints, with any luck to pick out and choose the satisfactory parts from among them. By banning a campus ROTC contingent, Columbia has denied students that desire, and as an educational, I am ashamed for them.

ROTC has much to provide college students, which includes (perhaps in particular) those no longer enrolled as officer candidates. As a thirty-something graduate pupil working on my grasp’s degree, I enrolled and took part in ROTC records lessons being taught using a multi-decorated Marine colonel, himself a holder of a master’s diploma in history. The things I found out, approximately navy implications of the battles we studied, the social results of every selection, and the rigors took via most leaders to secure higher material, and intelligence for his or her troop’s ways exceeded whatever taught in the records branch’s coverage of the same incidents. It becomes from that fantastically patriotic U.S. Marine profession officer that I discovered, for instance, that during the War of 1812, the U.S. Invaded Canada and, when it determined it couldn’t be triumphant, burned the countrywide Parliament homes. It becomes for that final movement that British squaddies later pressed directly to Washington and set fire to the U.S. Capitol and White House.

Does any of that make a distinction? Indeed, I think it is essential to countrywide survival that foot soldiers and the general public know the large photograph behind activities that become rallying cries later. After September 11, a treasured few humans asked the loaded query, “what have we accomplished to incur this assault?” The overwhelming reaction was to stifle such questions–the U.S. Had been the coolest men, and people spiritual fanatics have been irritated because they were jealous of our luxury and wealth–and certainly treat the attackers as anonymous, inhuman enemies.

There turned into absolute confidence allowed as to what the real hassle is probably, only that the U.S. Should assault them and annihilate aggression. But what equipped health practitioner, I ask, treats most effective a symptom, however, ignores the purpose of the disorder? According to numerous research commissioned via the UN and other organizations, the most vital change that might most work closer to getting rid of poverty and struggle would be the time-honored get right of entry to girls to an education.

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However, we may also “Remember the Alamo,” several considerations that Texas was neither part of the U.S. Then, nor was it seeking to come to be a kingdom. It changed into seeking independence as a state so it may hold slavery, which Mexico had outlawed. When we “Remember Maine,” will we also don’t forget that the delivery possibly became sunk by using engineering trouble and no longer from Spanish sabotage?

That the struggle turned into pushed by using U.S. Hawks and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst, understanding that a war could greatly raise newspaper income? We should learn from history due to the fact we’re already doomed to repeating it. The Sept. 11 attack become executed predominantly by using Saudi Arabians, but the U.S. Response becomes to assault Iraq. Despite a preponderance of proof that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, the American public nevertheless preferred the fabrications about anthrax assaults, WMDs, and terrorist schooling camps.

So what of military plans to expand the space gaining knowledge of applications to replace study room practice? As a professional teacher, I chance sounding like a Luddite when I disparage distance mastering. There may be no replacement for a human-to-human interplay in my experience, in which thoughts can be immediately seized, argued, and revised. Seeing the emotional expression of classmates while one discusses controversies starting from “just wars” to using nuclear guns to the professionals and cons of a given policy honestly cannot be part of an electronic lesson.

There is truly no alternative, for example, to have a combat veteran point out “I became there” in a category when every other pupil has presented the sanitized version of a debatable event. That level of emotion will now not come thru a cable modem. We are already becoming extraordinarily based upon the impersonal Internet, so how a good deal of extra non-human contact can probably be suitable for our mental, in particular empathic, development.

Historically, one of the first casualties of battle–after reality and diversity of opinion–is fundamental humanity. Our soldiers do not kill Germans, French, British, Indians, Japanese, or Vietnamese people in wars. Almost from the start, they instead fight krauts, frogs, limeys, savages, nips, or gooks. How lots extra hard is it for a poorly educated soldier to understand the enemy when the enemy has been made subhuman? How, in the end, can the battle be won and, greater essential, peace maintained if we can not recognize (but no longer necessarily consider) the enemy?

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It is unlucky that the senior Navy officials regularly endure the brunt of public hostility for movements made by way of civilian government. The present management is the maximum academically impoverished in U.S. History, whilst the senior officers are most of the maximum exceedingly-educated. While it’s miles authentic that some infantrymen in reality revel in combat, the sizable majority would welcome, may include, a profession of unbroken peace. The shrewd professional soldier trains to defend that which she or he most values, understanding that wars are inevitable.

Most pray that they need never combat but stand equipped to put their lives on the road should the relaxation of us want safety. Rather than reduce, compromise, or limit schooling to these defenders, I could argue instead that they all get hold of loose to get entry to our universities and faculties. The academic international wishes to get in the back of a unified message: schooling isn’t a privilege; it is the primary and excellent line of defense.

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