EP 498 How America Abandoned Peace and Reinvented the Concept of Humane War

Since 9/11, America has found itself embroiled in endless war, little discussed and rarely debated, either in barrooms or Congress.  We just are.  It is interesting how little attention conflicts of various forms get given the trillions of dollars we spend on defense and the fact that we have Special Forces in more than three quarters of the countries on the planet.  While we eschew the role of the world’s policeman, it’s hard to imagine that we are patrolling the world and surveilling it with drones and other gadgets for no reason.  Perhaps, one reason we pay less attention to our offensive defensive posture is that most of it relates to what we are doing in places far away, with a volunteer force, able to accomplish its missions with fewer casualties on either side.  According to Yale University legal scholar and historian, Samuel Moyn, in his book, ‘Humane’, we have made a clear choice to make war more humane, but placed little emphasis on avoiding war.  Swords have not been beaten into plowshares, rather they’ve been melted down for drones that are capable of conducting war from over the horizon using a joystick.  It’s a fascinating topic and we have one of the leading authorities to present it on this podcast.