The headlines refer to a “JBLM soldier.” This is not correct. The accused soldier may be based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but he is an American soldier. We recruited, trained and sent him to war (multiple times) in pursuit of the security, political and economic goals of the United States of America.
Referring to him simply as a JBLM soldier marginalizes our collective responsibility for his alleged actions, reprehensible as they may have been.
One of the great drawbacks of our all-volunteer military is and has been that the vast majority of our country has no personal attachment or commitment to the missions our troops are sent to perform. All we have to do is pay the bills.
As a Vietnam veteran, I am well aware of the impact that an involved citizenry can have on the conduct of a war. An active draft compelling national service (voluntary or involuntary) would both spread the burden of war and inhibit the excessive militarism of economic and foreign policy that is so tempting with a captive and essentially mercenary force.