Book Review: Betraying Our Troops

Betraying Our Troops:  The Destructive Results of Privatizing War, by Dina Rasor & Robert Buaman

This book is a reminder that propaganda often passes for reportage.  If you are a partisan of the Democrats, this is the sort of book you will likely greater enjoy.  If you have a more positive view of privatized military forces [1], this book will come off as biased in the worst way.  The authors are part of a liberal PAC that appears to be closely tied to Rep. Waxman, whose praise they was fulsomely about here, and the book is a tiresome one that thankfully can be read rather speedily if you are so inclined.  Much of the book comes of as novelistic, if you like novels about the Iraq War and the struggles of logistics in its aftermath.  The authors, as might be predicted, take a very partisan view of what constitutes betraying our troops and the rhetoric through the book is highly overheated, like a car whose water pump isn’t working very well.  One can tell that the authors are trying to curry favor with some elements of the armed forces but also that they have no clue what they are talking about in terms of the larger context of government corruption.

The book itself is divided into various parts and tends to skip from one time to another somewhat haphazardly.  In general, though, the book begins by looking at the context of logistics efforts in the Iraq War and its struggles.  Much of the book skips between libelous accounts of the people in charge of various private logistics firms and ordinary solders and military contractors who apparently talked with the authors, but the authors try to make it seem as if their biased reconstructions are true to life reportage.  The whole writing of the book has the feel of a Michael Moore mockumentary that strives to be seen as a historical document but is in reality more fictional in nature.  Towards the end of the book the authors report on congressional grandstanding with an obvious bias so bad it could have come straight out of the Washington Post or some other garbage rag.  The book is written with the laughable perspective that only Republicans are corrupt and that the Democrat majorities in 2006 would herald a new age of clean and fair government, which, of course, we did not see, but it is unlikely that the authors of this book wrote exposes on the corruption of the Obama area as well as the billions wasted on bailout packages and the like.

There are a few aspects that make this book pretty worthless for anyone who is not a DNC operative.  For one, the authors view private military contracting itself as a great evil, rather than viewing corrupt business practices are evil.  If we could trust the public sector, a great deal of privatization would not be as urgent or important a matter.  Likewise, the authors view failures in logistics as signs of betrayal rather than a sign of the difficulties of doing logistics well, something that the United States has frequently struggled with–see WWI, for example.  In addition, the authors view corruption as a partisan matter rather than a problem that both of the parties in the United States struggle with at present in different ways.  Indeed, rather than arguing in favor of supporting Democratic rule, the matters discussed in this book are evidence of why Americans ought to support a small government that dwells at peace with other nations in the world, so that the financial and political power of the federal government does not reach the extent that it becomes a lure to anyone looking to benefit themselves or their cronies at taxpayer expense.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, Book Reviews, History, Military History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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