Small Wars Journal

H.R. McMaster Says the Public is Fed a ‘War-Weariness’ Narrative that Hurts US Strategy

H.R. McMaster Says the Public is Fed a ‘War-Weariness’ Narrative that Hurts US Strategy by Kyle Rempfer – Military Times

War in Afghanistan can be sustained, but the narrative of a war-weary American public is hurting that effort, former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said Wednesday.

 

Long wars are manageable when waged alongside allies, utilizing burden sharing, said McMaster, who now serves as chairman of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

 

“There’s this defeatist narrative that’s inaccurate, and doesn’t reflect what’s at stake and doesn’t reflect the actual situation,” McMaster said at a think tank forum in Washington, D.C.

 

The American public is not properly weighing costs when debating the military’s role in the Middle East, according to McMaster, who pointed to a recent town hall debate he watched.

 

“A young student stood up and said ‘all I’ve known my whole life is war,’” McMaster said. “Now, he’s never been to war, but he’s been subjected, I think, to this narrative of war-weariness.”

 

“The United States today has a smaller percentage of its military deployed overseas than it has had since 1950," he added…

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