This question and the “counter terrorism campaign” that the United States is engaging in with ISIS/ISIL is a teaching lesson for both entire world. The lesson is that the definition of war is different than it was before the year 2000. War is now, predominately, airstrikes and bombings from remote-controlled, unmanned, flying drones.
The reason President Obama and the media have been using the term “boots on the ground” so early and often recently, is because boots on the ground is how most people think of war. People think of war as ground troops, trenches, tanks, hummers and so on. Men fighting men, or person fighting person on the ground with swords, guns, etc is what people envision when a war is being fought since the beginning of time. That is no longer the case, or perhaps a better way to put it is, ground troops are no longer required for America to be at war.
How/Why? Because America’s wars are now fought with drones.
A formal declaration of war is no longer required to go to war. We have learned that over the past half century with America’s involvement with North Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. What we are learning over the past decade is that human soldiers or boots on the ground, are also no longer required to go to war. We now send unmanned, weaponized, flying drones.
But war is war no matter what we or the government may like to call it. 30 dead school children is not a by-product of an airstrike gone awry, it is collateral damage of a war.
We’ve also learned in the last decade that we don’t need a country to go to war with. That’s not liberal sarcasm. Al-Qaeda is not a country and neither is ISIS. Remember in 2001 when George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror”? Well that wasn’t a metaphor. We were at war in Afghanistan before the end of 2001 and by mid 2003 we were at war in Iraq. Under Obama we have been at war in Yemen and Somalia. The difference between Bush and Obama’s wars? Bush’s involved human soldiers, Obama’s involve drones.
So now in addition to our drone wars in Yemen and Somalia, we are carrying out additional drone wars in Syria and Iraq.
Although those drones are physically unmanned aircrafts, they are still piloted by humans via remote control. Did you know that remote control drone operators suffer from post traumatic stress disorder just like ground troops do? Why wouldn’t they? They’re soldiers engaging in the hell that is war.
Let us not be fooled or fool ourselves, America is at war. America is perpetually at war. America is constantly at war. Why? Well there are those in the world that if left unchecked would commit a 9/11 style attack on our country every hour on the hour. That fact can’t be denied. Pandora’s box has been opened in regards to the militarized, religious radicals of the middle east trying to jihad America until the country is nothing more than rubble and ashes. The other reason we are perpetually at war however, is the Military Industrial Complex.
Make not mistake and don’t let yourself be fooled. There are real threats to America’s safety in the world AND the Military Industrial Complex is in the business of keeping America engaged in military action for the same reason McDonald’s wants as many people to eat hamburgers as humanly possible. Drones help keep the body count down, and keeps the money coming in. Until the latter somehow changes, America will always be perpetually at war regardless of the size or severity of any and all threats against us.