Mary Dudziak: The more we explain away failures during Obama’s presidency as the inevitable consequence of political structures, the more we put off an urgent analysis of the failures of the president himself.
Mary Dudziak: “Liberals” and “conservatives” are often talking past each other on questions of national security, and there is a need to reshift the conversation, and get beyond partisan and left/right divides.
Mary Dudziak: The absence of the people in war means that the people do not tire of the costs of war. The people’s remoteness and isolation from war undermines their traditional role as a restraint.
Mary L. Dudziak: As Americans become more isolated from the costs of war, military engagement no longer seems to require the support of the American people. Their disengagement does not limit the reach of American military action, but enables its expansion.
Mary L. Dudziak: Even if 9/11 changed the way Americans thought about the world, it could not determine the actions we would take in its aftermath. It did not deprive American leaders of choices.
Mary L. Dudziak: The no-change-during-wartime argument is an example of conventional thinking about war and American society. “Wartime” is imagined to be a temporary condition. It is a special kind of time. Wartime, by definition, is preceded and followed by “peacetime.” American history is thought to consist of the movement from peacetime to wartime and back again. In this conceptualization, wartimes always comes to an end.