All Hell Will Break Loose,When You Are Working For Peace

Several years ago I completed my last Annual Training ( AT ) for the US Army. I was working as a Medical Service Corps Officer, Clinical Social Worker at Madigan Army Medical Center Joint Lewis McChord, WA . for a two week period. I was working in the Emergency Department and in Inpatient Psychiatry.
I was sitting at a Starbucks at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport waiting for my return flight to depart from Seattle, WA to San Antonio, TX. I was wearing my Army uniform and I was thinking this will probably be the last time that I wear this uniform for my military career.
A young mother with her eight year old son who was wearing a T-Shirt that read
" The Who " briefly greeted me. I told the young man that I liked his T-Shirt. Then it happened, while enjoying my bagel And coffee, I read the front page of the Vancouver Sun Newspaper. There was a detailed article about using sonar equipment to protect whales and other sea life from getting injured from all of the shipping traffic in Vancouver Bay.
I thought " how nice to read an environmental article on the front page of a Canadian newspaper. If I were reading a newspaper from the United States, I would be reading about Afghanistan or Iraq on the front page of the newspaper."
I then reflected, " out of then fifty plus years of life, my country has been engaged in war for at least twenty-seven years, almost half of my then life.
What would it be like, I thought, to be living in a country that was not consumed with war ? How might my life be different if I were in that environment ?
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a eighteenth century Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" and political aspects of war. Clausewitz argued that war generates unintended consequences. Indeed, Clausewitz is the one who coined the term "the fog of war. "
Former Secretary Of State Madeline Albright has stated
" Why have a military, if you don't use it ? "
I agree, but I would also add if you use your military for any type of hostile war activity, you need to be sure that you know what your end point will be. You need to know what your exit strategy will be. You need to know, to the best of your ability, what the landscape is going to look like geopolitically and in terms of the need of humanitarian support, i.e. people who are displaced and victimized as a result of war.
Some congressional legislators give the impression that they spend more time considering what type of suit to wear, what type of car to drive, what type of décor to decorate their office than the deliberation required to make a decision concerning a declaration of war. Recent history has suggested that there was no serious thought regarding the endgame and the consequences of our most recent wars.
When I attended Command Staff General College, I participated in war gaming exercises. I have to tell you, this is hard work. You can spend endless hours at a targeting table making decisions about what targets or buildings that you will attack versus what you will spare. You are concerned about not only what your military campaign objectives are, but you are also concerned about minimizing civilian casualties, collateral damage. You are concerned about mentally rehearsing Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and maybe even Plan D and you want to present the best possible successful plan of operation for consideration to your Commanding Officer.
I never saw anyone during the war game process advocate a cavalier ill-thought maneuver.
One wishes that Congress would do more of this type of intense deliberation before any move is made to engage American military forces in hostile engagement.
A sign outside Camp Pendleton,CA reads:
" We go to war, so that you can shop at the mall "
I would say that analysis is still accurate.
Too many Americans have been isolated from the effects of war. Less than one percent of Congressional members have served in the military. Thankfully, we have had political leaders like John McCain, John Kerry, Tammy Duckworth, Seth Moulton, even Lindsey Graham who have served with distinction and bring their military expertise, " their skin in the game " to the table regarding making life and death decisions concerning war.
The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus as saying in the Sermon On The Mount
" blessed are the peacemakers. "
Peace making is hard work. The current refugee crisis that we are witnessing in Europe is another example of Clausewitz' " fog of war. " When you work for peace, you can be subjected to detractors calling you derogatory names because you're an advocate for refugees.
We need to demand that our political leaders think through all of the ramifications of war and its aftermath. The political leaders will not be present in the therapy rooms as those who suffer from war will continue to struggle with their trauma.
We really must do better if we are really going to promote peace in the world.