Economist Decries ‘America’s Love Affair with Uniformed Men’


The Economist, a respected British magazine that features heavy coverage of the United States, published a column over the weekend accusing Americans of placing blind trust in the military.

Under a headline in its online version, “America’s love affair with uniformed men is problematic,” the Economist column suggested that the military uses its standing as a public relations tool for leveraging more resources; that soldiers also often are motivated by money; and that President Donald Trump has used retired generals as human shields against criticism.

The columnist referenced thank-you letters sent by schoolchildren to soldiers serving in Iraq, expressing gratitude for keeping them safe. The U.S. service members knew that was not true, the column claims, since the Iraqi insurgents were fighting a defensive war.

“Yet the soldiers accepted the sentiment unblushingly,” the column states. “No soldier expects the beloved chumps back home to understand what he gets up to. He just needs to feel appreciated.”

The column blames declining numbers of Americans who have served in uniform or even have family members who have served. Lack of familiarity, the column states, has encouraged a “highly romanticised view of military service, which is inaccurate and counterproductive at best.”

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