Fallows Lecture: Is America a Chickenhawk Nation?

January 26, 2015

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Media on James Fallows:

James Fallows-award-winning and internationally recognized journalist, author, and University of Redlands Distinguished Fellow in Residence-lectured on topics related to his latest article in The Atlantic-‘The Tragedy of the American Military' on January 26 in the Memorial Chapel.

In his controversial and widely-read article in The Atlantic this month, journalist and author James argues that America has become a "chickenhawk nation," in which the public is happy to send its troops off for perpetual-and unwinnable-wars, so long as it doesn't have to pay serious attention to those wars, or sacrifice to support the troops. Despite polls showing that the U.S. military is by far the most widely admired institution in America, the percentage of the population that is actually willing to serve is miniscule: less than one percent. As for our willingness to pay attention to these troops and the wars to which we commit them, there were only two sentences of discussion about the trillion-dollar national security budget in the most recent Presidential debates. And that budget contains vast amounts waste, like the F-35 fighter jet.

About James Fallows

An award-winning journalist, author, and former presidential speechwriter for the Carter Administration, Fallows and wife Deborah Fallows, a writer and linguist, are currently in residence at the University of Redlands as Distinguished Fellows.

Fallows is a licensed pilot, and he and Deborah have been flying the country on a "road trip by air" for The Atlantic project, "American Futures." He has reported from around the world for more than 30 years, and from China most recently. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine and a regular commentator on National Public Radio; has appeared frequently on television news commentary programs including "Charlie Rose" and "The Colbert Report;" has worked on a software design team at Microsoft; and was a visiting professor at the University of Sydney in Australia. His recent books include "China Airborne," "Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy;" and "Blind into Baghdad: America's War in Iraq."