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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ain't Gonna Study War No More

Though the Pentagon derailed
My ambition to teach military history,
I kept up with the field for many years,
Finding parallels in business planning.

I did actually teach one section
Of "Military History" in the summer.
It was well-received by students,
But not by the History Department.

They said I lacked academic credentials,
But they really didn't like the subject.
I didn't mind because I was busy that fall
Introducing a new major in Entrepreneurship.

After retiring, I gave up military history,
Answering questions from friends
With words from that great spiritual:
"Ain't Gonna Study War No More!"

Still, current events do capture my attention
When they concern the decisions that
Governments make as to whether they will
Use military force in certain situations.

The French intervention in Mali is most recent.
M. Hollande, le president, aims for a quick war.
History is against that, given the vast area
In which the rebels operate, with unlimited resources.

And as in Libya and Syria, the question arises
If it is a just or unjust war, which is the subject
Of a notable 1977 book by Michael Walzer
That I used in that summer course long ago.

The February 2013 issue of First Things
Takes up that argument in a lengthy series
Of articles concerning U.S. obligations to
"Afghanistan, Justice, and War."

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