These are not the folks at the top, they are the men and women who serve in the US all-volunteer force and most of their fellow citizens don’t think about them very often. They’re definitely not getting rich, but they pay the real price for our government’s mistakes.
I highly recommend this post by William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), discussing the terrible price we as a nation continue to pay for our several wars of choice.
America’s wars are remote. They’re remote from us geographically, remote from us emotionally (unless you’re serving in the military or have a close relative or friend who serves), and remote from our major media outlets, which have given us no compelling narrative about them, except that they’re being fought by “America’s heroes” against foreign terrorists and evil-doers.
And he includes our response to domestic terror threats, real and imagined.
Think here of the “shoe bomber” in 2001 and the “underwear bomber” in 2009. Why did the criminally inept actions of these two losers garner so much attention (and fear-mongering) in the American media? As the self-confessed greatest and most powerful nation on Earth, shouldn’t we have shared a collective belly laugh at the absurdity and incompetence of those “attacks” and gone about our business?
Instead of laughing, of course, we allowed yet more American treasure to be poured into technology and screening systems that may never even have caught a terrorist. We consented to be surveilled ever more and consulted ever less. We chose to reaffirm our terrors every time we doffed our shoes or submitted supinely to being scoped or groped at our nation’s airports.