Supporters and Opponents of the War on Afghanistan
"Three disparate groups are making efforts to bolster support for the war - the military, neo-conservatives and human-rights groups, especially feminist organizations," while despite the fact that "56% of the public oppose the war.... there is barely an anti-war movement," reports Brian M. Downing — Bizarre bedfellows rally to Afghanistan. The author's conclusion:
- It is significant (perhaps even regrettable) that American casualties do not figure more highly in the discussion. When they do, it is usually in a transparently manipulative and off-putting manner. The war is being fought by working-class and lower-middle-class Americans, mainly from small towns and rural areas. In contrast to World War II and even Vietnam, few Americans know anyone in the military today, resulting in a "moral hazard" whereby the consequences of an action do not affect the public at large.
The neo-conservatives and human-rights activists who support the war are as unfamiliar with military service as they are with the topography of the Moon. The US officer corps is also supportive of the war - and they know military service and have dedicated their careers to it. Yet many in the American public, especially veterans of past wars, wonder if generals adequately consider the lives of young men and women in their war calculus any more than the public does.