TCS: Does Criticism of the War Undermine Troop Morale?

My latest article, “Does Criticism of the War Undermine Troop Morale?” is up at Tech Central Station. The conclusion:

Soldiers ultimately decide for themselves whether their mission is “worth it.” To the extent that they are concerned with political debates in Washington, it is mostly about the small picture: ensuring they get the tools and equipment they need to survive and get the job done. While they may be interested in grand strategy, it seldom motivates them to risk life and limb. They may agree or disagree with establishing a foothold for democracy in the Middle East but they fight for their comrades-in-arms, out of genuine concern for locale villagers whose situations they empathize with, and for hundreds of other reasons unique to each soldier.

Read the rest at the link.

By the way, Monday December 12 will see the launch of the “new TCS.” Among the enhanced features offered:

    • MyTCS — personalize your TCS experience
    ̢ۢ More video and audio clips
    ̢ۢ Expanded discussion boards
    • MobileTCS — access TCS from your mobile phone or PDA
    ̢ۢ Expanded regional coverage from around the globe
    ̢ۢ More newsletter options

It should be interesting, especially the discussion boards and enhanced original reporting.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, Middle East, Uncategorized, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. phil says:

    It undermines troop morale to have a bunch of sissy-hawk republicans questioning the patriotism of decorated war veterans with whom they happen to disagree. Why should our soldiers in Iraq risk their lives on our behalf when they see that their bravery in battle can be so easily belittled and devalued as it has been with Murtha and others?

  2. LJD says:

    “…questioning the patriotism of decorated war veterans with whom they happen to disagree…”

    “…so easily belittled and devalued as it has been with Murtha and others…”

    Link actual quotes please.

    (Sounds like Sheehan-esque pussy-hawk embellishment of the actual transcript)

    Who said this? When? About whom?

  3. Anderson says:

    You left out “Central Tech Central,” with centrist political opinions. Oh wait, maybe that was intentional … 😉

    Eugene Volokh is posting up a storm on whether/when speech is harmful to the war effort, if anyone’s interested.