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Critique of Bacevich op-ed misses what should have been paramount

I find it incredible that the Rev. David W. Sidoruk (“Those who serve in the military are on a vital mission,” Letters, March 14), who takes issue with Andrew Bacevich’s March 7 op-ed “Mourning in America,” could be so unfamiliar with who Bacevich is and what he espouses.

Bacevich, a retired Army colonel who served in combat in Vietnam and Iraq and lost his own son in Iraq to an improvised explosive device, had the class not to arouse “spurious emotion” by mentioning these facts in his opinion piece.

I wonder whether Sidoruk, whose son is serving in the Middle East, has read the many articles and books that Bacevich has written, in which he has argued that our national leadership, both Republican and Democratic, always thinks that military force is the answer to world problems. Bacevich has seen firsthand that that approach is a waste of young lives such as that of his son and, potentially, that of Sidoruk’s son.


We have a commander in chief who thinks that way of military force — pushing for a 10 percent increase in the defense budget, talking of boosting nuclear weapons — and who, less than a week into his presidency, no doubt anxious to show his manliness, authorized a military operation that should not have gone forward and that resulted in Navy SEAL Ryan Owens’s death.

Trump owes Owens’s family an apology, not a sideshow, and Sidoruk owes an apology to Bacevich and his son.

James McNiff

The writer is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army.