EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnEXECUTIVE EDITORrnScott P. RichertrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, ]r.rnASSISTANT EDITORrnJeffrey Thomas KuhnerrnART DIRECTORrnH. Ward SterettrnDESIGNERrnMelanie AndersonrnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSrnKatherine Dalton, Samuel Francis,rnGeorge Garrett, Paul Gottfried,rnPhilip Jenkins, ].0. Tate, MichaelrnWashburn, Clyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrnJanet Scott Barlow, Bill Kauffman,rnDonald Livingston, William Mills,rnWilliam Murchison, AndreirnNavrozov, Jacob NeusnerrnFILM EDITORrnGeorge McCartneyrnFOREIGN AFFAIRS EDITORrnSrdja TrifkovicrnLEGAL AFFAIRS EDITORrnStephen B. PresserrnRELIGION EDITORrnHarold O.J. BrownrnEDITORIAL SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnCindy LinkrnPUBLISHERrnThe Rockford InstituternA publication of Tlie Rockford Institute.rnEditorial and Advertising Offices:rn928 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 6110?,rnWebsite: www.chroniclesmagazine.orgrnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5054.rnAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5815.rnSubscripHon Department: P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-877-5459.rnU.S.A. Newsstand Distribuhon by Eastern NewsrnDistributors, Inc., One Media Wav, 12406 Rt. 250,rnMilan, Ohio 44848-9705.rnCopyright © 2000 by The Rockford InsHhite.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicler: A Magazine of American Culturern(ISSN 0887-5751) is published monthly for $59.00rn(foreign subscriphons add $12 for surface deliveiv’,rn$48 for Air Mail) per year bv Tlie Rockford Instihite,rn928 Nortli Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103-7061.rnPreferred periodical postage paid at Rockford, ILrnand additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER:rnSend address changes to Chronicles, P.O. Box 800,rnMount Moms, IL 61054.rnThe views expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford Instihite or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited mamiseripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressedrnstamped envelope.rnChroniclesrnVol. 24, No, 12 December 2000rnPrinted in ihe United Shitcs of AmericarnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn the American Empire Mr. Raimondo Replies:rnWhile I agree with much of what JustinrnRaimondo wrote in his review ofrnChahners Johnson’s Blowback: Tlie Costsrnand Consequences of American Empirern(“An Empire, If You Can Bear It,” Opinions,rnSeptember), I must take issue withrnsome of his “facts.” First, the “Americanrnmilitary machine” has not become autonomous;rnit is, rather, completely underrnthe thumb of an irresponsible nationalrnexecutive. With the notable exceptionrnof Hugh Shelton, the service chiefs neverrngave their blessing to the Kosovo “adventure,”rnnor to Hiaiti, nor Bosnia. However,rnrecognizing their subservience torncivilian authority, they knuckled in eachrncase.rnWith the exception of the MarinernCorps, morale in the services is at rockrnbottom, thanks to a regular diet of politicalrncorrectness served up by a secretary ofrndefense who lacks any interest whatsoeverrnin the people who make up our ArmedrnForces. A recent query of middle-gradernofficer students at the Army’s Commandrnand Staff College at Fort Leavenworthrnshowed complete distrust of their uniformedrnleaders, in part because of therncontinuing feminization of the Army.rnFinally, the defense industry that permittedrnthis nation to overwhelm the Sovietsrnin military capability is now only arnfaint shadow of its former self The localrnLockheed Missiles and Space Co. employedrnover 30,000 people 15 years ago.rnIt is now down to about 8,000 and had tornmerge with Martin Marietta for either tornsurvive. As for the services growing, thernNavy now consists of about 320 ships, notrnmuch over half of what it had at the peakrnof the Reagan buildup. Moreover, projectedrnstrength in 2010 is about 200rnships.rnRegarding quixotic embarrassmentsrnsuch as Kosovo, I agree with Mr. Raimondo.rnHowever, we do have legitimaterninterests in areas around the world, suchrnas the South China Sea, a major focalrnpoint of world shipping. Freedom of thernseas has been a major objective of Americanrnforeign policy since the founding ofrnthe republic.rn-Robert C.WhittenrnCommander, U.S. Naval Reserve (Ret.)rnCupertino, CArnCommander Whitten is certainly rightrnthat the current administration is notrnpopular with the military and that moralernin the services is low: After all, thernprospect that you will be sent, at a moment’srnnotice, to the four corners of thernearth to administer a dose of “humanitarianism”rnto the locals is not what most servicemenrnsigned up for. It is like auditioningrnfor the part of Rambo only tornwind up being cast as Mother Teresa.rnAs for the idea that the military has becomern”autonomous,” what ChalmersrnJohnson and other critics of the militaryindustrialrncomplex have said is that thernmomentum for the expansion of ourrnoverseas empire is built into the system.rnCommander Whitten complains armsrnmanufacturers are merging to offset thernlosses of the post-Cold War era. But whatrnis the alternative? To continue to expandrnour capacity to make war even as thernthreat of war recedes?rnThe Cold War is over; no nation onrnearth poses a direct threat to our legitimaterninterests —not even in the SouthrnChina Sea. One word from the Americanrnpresident could reduce all of Chinarnto a cloud of radioactive dust; the onlyrnthreat we face is our own hubris.rnIt may be true that, with our present resources,rnwe are “overextended,” thisrndoesn’t mean that those resources oughtrnto be increased. Rather, the scope of thernmission should be radically reduced.rnWTiy do we need to be able to fight twornmajor wars simultaneously? We don’trnneed to build more warships: Let thernworkers who formerly were employed byrnLockheed and Martin Marietta find arnmore productive occupation in the privaternsector.rnRegarding Commander Whitten’srnfinal point about the United States enforcingrn”freedom of the seas,” I can onlyrnhint at the questions it raises by askingrnwhere else, aside from the South ChinarnSea, this alleged “freedom” needs to bernprotected. Will we now claim hegemonyrnover all the world’s oceans, and even suchrnlandlocked lakes as the Caspian Sea?rnTo Suhscrihe:rn(800) 877-5459rn4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn