Syria, North Korea, and Trump - Oh My!

Syria, North Korea, and Trump - Oh My!

Two weeks ago, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) against Shayrat Air Base in Homs Province in response to a recent chemical attack carried out by the Russian-Backed Assad Regime. The attack was unsuccessful by most military measures. In fact, as far as Assad is concerned, militarily nothing has changed for the worse. 

So why risk so much for a largely ineffective strike against an airbase? Why use TLAMs against hardened targets when B-2s would have made more sense? Why deploy a carrier group to the East Sea? To send a message to North Korea. 

Nationalism: The Rise of the Warrior Class Post-9/11

Nationalism:  The Rise of the Warrior Class Post-9/11

I can no longer open an essay about September 11, 2001 with "We all know where we were that faithful day," because an increasingly large number of individuals are coming of age without having any discernible memory of a life prior to the World Trade Center attack.  This generation, even moreso than mine, has always lived in the Post-9/11 world, and embodies the concept behind my popular essay "Generation at War" better than my generation ever could.  

These individuals lack the pre-9/11 context in which to frame their new world views, and as such will rely heavily on the narrative that generations before them have provided. As a result, it becomes increasingly important that, as we round the fifteenth anniversary of this tragic event, we pause for some introspection in order to better understand the narratives that we are providing.

Generation At War

Generation At War

I am a man of the ripe old age of twenty-three, and while my generation may lack some of the experiences of past generations, we carry an interesting perspective on life that must be acknowledged for its importance.  We have always been a generation at war.

The realization that our generation has always been in war is not a solemn one for me, it's actually quite a trivial matter; statements like:  "We've always been at war," or "My father, brother, husband, or myself may deploy and not return [the same]" have become facts of life.  I say them with the same emotion and conviction that I would tell a child that the Earth revolves around the Moon, or that there aren't monsters under his bed.   There is no trepidation, anxiety, or fear in my affirmation of these simple truths; they merely exist.

They exist in the same purgatory as this perpetually never ending conflict exists.  This purgatory we find ourselves in is one of our own creation and its one that thousands every year seek to escape.  We find ourselves in a limbo that we know nothing outside of, because it's all that we have ever been taught.  We grew up in a post 9/11 world, where terrorism has surpassed communism as the 'big bad boogie man' and regulation for safety at the expense of freedom has become the status-quo.