Does the military really 'protect our freedom'?

Freedom from what? Communists and Muslims taking over? There’s NO CONNECTION between the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and my freedom. None at all!

I think the idea of the military ‘protecting our freedom’ is just an old saying like ‘respect your elders’ and ‘children should be seen and not heard’. Basically outdated moral statements that no longer hold water in today’s world (well, you should respect your elders, but no more than you respect anyone else).

Define freedom….

The war in Iraq protects your freedom to use a gas guzzling SUV
The war in Afghanistan protects your freedom to not be blown up by terrorists, denying radicals a safe haven where they can wage war from

In theory that is

They would if they had to, but they aren’t right now. One of the things I find most disturbing about the hyper-patriotism of the right wing is the constant adulation of the military, as if they can do their jobs only with continuous verbal fellation.

The military protects our freedom as a nation. Once we’ve got that, protecting our freedom as individuals is up to us.

The military does have the task (among others) to protect our freedom; sometimes, they may even be called upon to actually act to do so. Ideally those instances should be few and far between, and the protection be mostly through their deterrent effect. Of course, to be a deterrent you have to be ready, willing and able to make good on the threat.

*But *some other times, well, the government has some things that may not be imminently freedom-protecting but that they need or want done, and we do have that military sitting there, prepared for action – it being wholly impractical in this day and age to revert to a citizen militia rounded up ad-hoc only in emergencies – so the CinC uses them. Such is the world.

I have great respect for those who are stuck with doing that unpleasant aspect of the functioning of a real-world power, and wish them all the best, with no need for idolatry.

Y’know, that would make a great bumpersticker.

Does it? Seems like this war and our aggressive stance is partly a cause of high gas prices, plus the high cost of the war machine which means higher taxes. Seems like the military is really hurting our ability to excessive freedom to drive very nice vehicles with lots of room, they seem to be forcing more and more to drive coach instead of first class.

Depends on how you define freedom. If the military was disbanded today, would the Chinese be knocking at your door tonight? Nope.

But the U. S. military gives us freedom of action throughout the world. As individuals, as businesses etc. And that influence allows us to live as we’d like. Socially, and economically.

And before we get all naive with the “if we just left ‘them’ alone, all those terrorists would love us” meme, President Obama won the noble peace prize. How has that worked for us?

I’ve been to Africa twice in the last six years (yes, working for our government). The Chinese are taking over the place. If there is a natural resources in Africa, they are trying to get their hands on it. So if we don’t want to influence the world via our military, we had better be confident that we want to live in the world dictated to us by China.

And living the way we want to is freedom in my book.

Cite for the claim that people say “if we just left ‘them’ alone, all those terrorists would love us”.

What specifically has Obama done in foreign relations since winning the Nobel (not noble) Peace Prize that makes the US less safe from terrorism?

What has he done that makes us safer, that’s the question.

Dig for your own site. Many here, among others, have stated that a less aggressive foreign policy would make us less of a target. But that really isn’t a surprise to you is it?

Thanks for the typo correction.

By all impartial accounts, Obama has been more successful in fighting terrorism than Bush. If a CIA briefer told Obama that bin Laden was about to strike and the threat involved airplanes, I can safely assume that Obama would have done more than say “you’ve covered your ass, now leave.” When Obama allows an attack of the same order of magnitude as 9/11, then you would have a point.

There’s a middle ground between “just leave them alone” and “let’s wage war indiscriminately”.

The OPs question seems fairly naive and insular. No doubt from a lifetime of living under an umbrella of freedom.

Is the US milliary standing between us and the vaste hoards of Communists, Islamacists, Huns, Visigoths, French and other barbarians waiting to tear down the gate? In a literal sense, no. But they provide a valuable tool for the implementation and enforcement of American foreign policy which, like or not, people like you and me benefit from.

It’s like asking if the police really keeps you safe from crime just because you haven’t been robbed.

I have no problem honouring and respecting the armed services. Hard job, I don’t want to undertake, they do willingly.

That said, I agree with the OP. It really rubs me the wrong way when they claim they are protecting my freedom. No they aren’t. And trying to co opt the ‘protecting your freedom’ meme from previous generations who were actually doing so, makes them look lame, in my opinion.

They are doing a terribly difficult job, and risking their lives, all to meet the tasks their governments set. That’s a decidedly different thing from ‘protecting my freedom’. My freedom is not under threat, that I can see.

If that’s what they want to tell themselves to make the job easier to take, great. But don’t be surprised when people roll their eyes, in response. This isn’t 1940 and my freedom doesn’t need an army to protect it, at this time.

I don’t want to hijack this tread, with more ax grinding on either side. But I’d be interested in reading what “all [the] impartial accounts” have to say about Obama’s 25 months in office. (I’d ask for a site, but I think that tactic is over used here.) We’ve been on the losing end to many around the world beginning with the Korean war 60 years ago. Not sure what effect Obama’s long two years in office are going to have. And it doesn’t seem like he’s doing anything much different from Bush.

He did close Gitmo and stopped the prosecutions. And he did decrease our troop levels in Afghanistan and got us out of there. Those are differences.

The world’s pre and post 9/11 are markedly different. And I wouldn’t characterize Bush’s action as having “allowed” the attacks. Reactions to intel before the attached were viewed differently than they are now. But people are still blaming Roosevelt for Pearl Harbor, so you can believe what you want to believe.

It comes down there what it normally does here:

‘Your’ guy is right and ‘my’ guy is wrong - ‘we’ don’t even need to know what the issues are.
It seems like we may both be agreement, that the U.S. military does play a part in keeping our freedoms intact.

I think the military trots out the flag way too much, I agree with you there.

But I strongly disagree with your characterization that your freedom is not under threat. It’s a big bad world out there. And there are millions throughout the world that want to change the way you and your friends live. And the military, or rather the threat of military actions, keeps that in check.

I think the police analogy above is right on.

It protects business. Gen.Smedley Butler was offended by that.

So what? That doesn’t mean my freedoms are threatened by what they think. I have no problem assigning them this motive - when it’s true. Presently, it is not true. Your paranoia notwithstanding.

That they are trying to co opt the high motives of another generation, makes them look both lame and weak, in my opinion.

And if they attack our trade or our strategic interests, you figure that won’t have any sort of effect on your ‘freedom’??? Or if they attack Americans living or working abroad, that won’t effect you because you never travel abroad? To me, this is a similar attitude to folks who don’t worry about anything happening to agriculture because, well, they don’t get their food from a farm, they buy it in a store like normal people do. Sort of the ostrich method of danger avoidance…if you don’t know about it, it must not be real!

Not only does the military protect YOUR ‘freedom’, the military (US, European, Japanese, South Korean, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, etc etc) protects the ‘freedom’ of the entire western world. It’s the hammer that says ‘don’t fuck with our external interests, businesses, citizens outside our countries or our trade or you will regret it’.

I know there have been myriad threads on this same subject in the past, but it always puzzles me why this seemingly simple answer is so difficult for some to understand. It’s like they think that, without a strong military everything would stay exactly the same (except that we’d save SO much money, not having to pay for a military and all!), all our interests would be protected, our citizens and businesses safe to be abroad, and everything would be one big happy love in. No one could possibly want to attack our interests, disrupt or take our trade or assert their own power in an attempt at regional dominance…I mean, these are PEOPLE right? Humans! And humans NEVER try to do stuff like that…right? I mean, am I right??

crickets chirp in disbelief


That a strong and ready military stands poised to act to protect my freedoms, should they come under attack is one thing.

Soldiers currently deployed in Iraq or Afganistan are not doing so, as my freedoms are not under attack. A roadside bomb, a soldier killed, neither threaten my freedoms or way of life, sorry as I am to see such things happen.

It’s an incredible reach to claim otherwise, in my opinion.

Fact is they are not currently protecting me from anything, as I am under no threat or danger of losing any of my freedoms.

The reason why the OP doesn’t recognize how the military protects our freedom . . . is precisely because they’re doing such a good job of it. It’s inconceivable that this country could be attacked and overrun by some kind of dictatorship because we have a strong military preventing that from happening. Without that protection, that possibility wouldn’t seem so inconceivable.