Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Sebastian Junger is flat out done with war

And, like many combat vets, he looks at his society through a new, skeptical lens.

Director Sebastian Junger discusses his film after screening the 77-minute documentary, Which Way is the Front Line From Here?, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will make its HBO premiere on April 18. Photo by Lauren Gerson.
Director Sebastian Junger discusses his film after screening the 77-minute documentary, Which Way is the Front Line From Here?, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will make its HBO premiere on April 18. Photo by Lauren Gerson.

And, like many combat vets, he looks at his society through a new, skeptical lens. This short interview is well worth reading.

Sample quotation:

I think we’re all conditioned to think that modern society is the culmination of centuries of progress that has delivered us to this sort of moment of human potential and happiness. It’s done a lot of extraordinary things — I’m not advocating a sort of technological regression — but it definitely has not put people in a better place emotionally. Our towns are constructed around the automobile in as isolating a way as possible. Families live in real isolation from one another. It’s hard to break that down until a tornado comes and suddenly everyone is acting tribally and people have this weird nostalgia for that.

And, like many combat vets, he looks at his society through a new, skeptical lens. This short interview is well worth reading.

Sample quotation:

I think we’re all conditioned to think that modern society is the culmination of centuries of progress that has delivered us to this sort of moment of human potential and happiness. It’s done a lot of extraordinary things — I’m not advocating a sort of technological regression — but it definitely has not put people in a better place emotionally. Our towns are constructed around the automobile in as isolating a way as possible. Families live in real isolation from one another. It’s hard to break that down until a tornado comes and suddenly everyone is acting tribally and people have this weird nostalgia for that.

I know where he is coming from. His stance reminds me of this piece I wrote a coupla years ago.

Photo credit: LAUREN GERSON/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1
Tag: War

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