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Session Submission Type: Roundtable
As the Global War on Terror enters its 19th year, the military remains at the forefront of most U.S. efforts to shape the international security environment. This roundtable will explore the many factors that explain why Americans seem still so enamored of war, and so supportive of the military as an instrument of policy, and so disdainful of peaceful engagement through diplomacy, trade, and cultural exchange. Americans continue to support the use of force despite the many setbacks and disappointments in places as varied as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The factors that seem to privilege war over peace include: the apparent declining human costs of these wars, which obscure the actual near-term costs to non-Americans, and the accumulating long-term costs for Americans; presidential decision-making that perpetuates military interventions with seemingly no end in sight; Congress’s abdication of its constitutional responsibility to check the executive’s war-making power; and the military’s adaptability, which allows it to perform missions once reserved for diplomats, including in the realm of state-building and security force assistance.