The Military’s Purpose is Not to Kill People and Break Things

The Military’s Purpose is Not to Kill People and Break Things

An Army officer reflects on an oft-repeated and inaccurate maxim.

I have killed people and broken things in war.

I have killed people and broken things in war, but, as a military officer, that was never the end. There was a purpose, a reason, a goal. Always. My country, profession, and family demand this, as is the case for all in uniform.

So when, in the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee responded to an open question from moderator Bret Baier on the “changing” culture of the American military by saying, “The purpose of the military is kill people and break things,” the audience applause appalled me.

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