Small Wars Journal

Why Would Maj. Brent Taylor Choose to Deploy?

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 8:08am

Why Would Maj. Brent Taylor Choose to Deploy? By ML Cavanaugh - Salt Lake Tribune

… Why go “over there”? We should first note the vast, impersonal forces that drove Taylor to Afghanistan. Over time, American political consensus has led us into both a commitment in Afghanistan and avoidance of conscription. We also face a post-9/11 global resource-to-requirements challenge that has led us to make operational use of the reserve components. That demand is what pulled a major from the Utah Army National Guard to Afghanistan.

He was also biologically pushed. Harvard professor E.O. Wilson’s “theory of eusocial evolution” finds that while natural selection remains predominant, human development favors traits that “introduce highly cooperative behavior into the physiology and behavior of group members.” This suggests soldiers serve because they’re hard-wired to sacrifice for society’s greater good.

Which makes sense. National defense and public safety are possible only because good people willingly suspend self-interest. Imagine how many fires would burn on if firefighters were unwilling to leave their families to fight them. Same goes for soldiers…

Read on.