October 26, 2017

Want to Honor the Vets? Go See This Movie.

By Phillip Carter

Ancient Greeks knew war intimately, thanks to frequent conflict at the time and norms about military service that existed back then. Despite or maybe because of this intimacy with violence, audiences numbering in the thousands flocked to amphitheaters to watch tragedieslike Ajax. The soldiers in the audience experienced the movies as a form of catharsis; the citizens watched out of duty to vicariously experience the wars fought in their name.

Fast-forward two millennia. Our country has been at war for 16 years, but the verities of war remain known only to an American warrior caste: the 3 million men and women who have deployed since 9/11 and their families. In airports, at baseball games, and in shopping malls, Americans express nothing but gratitude and respect for the troops. Indeed, political debates have erupted recently over what expresses respect for the troops more: free speech or patriotic salutes. And yet very few Americans know much about the realities of our wars anymore, nor about the troops who fought them.

Read the full op-ed in Slate.

  • Video
    • June 24, 2020
    The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas

    On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...

    By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • June 21, 2020
    Why your next university president should be a veteran

    Robert L. Caslen’s tenure as president at the University of South Carolina was nearly over before it began. When he started his presidency in August 2019, he faced dissen...

    By Emma Moore & Barrett Y. Bogue

  • Reports
    • June 11, 2020
    Called to Lead

    Authors Barrett Bogue and Dr. Andrew Morse examine the connections between military service and higher education leadership roles based on interviews with veterans who work in...

    By Barrett Y. Bogue & Dr. Andrew Morse

  • Commentary
    • Task and Purpose
    • June 9, 2020
    The deafening silence of veteran service organizations on Black Lives Matter

    There is a myth in the U.S. military that once you put on the uniform, “We all bleed green.” That is to say, no matter where you’re from or what your background is, as long as...

    By Kayla M. Williams & Lindsay Church

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia