Re “We must stop our nation’s push for relentless war” (Opinion, July 2): Oliver Stone and Dan Kovalik write that we should hope “that there would be a massive outcry against what appears to be the imminent threat of another world war.” Furthermore, with the “near total silence” with which this threat has been met, they note that “it is baffling that none of this is a matter of debate” in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Under present conditions, it is unrealistic to think that a group of antiwar protesters will be rebuilding a peace movement like the one that once helped stop the war in Vietnam. Right now the vast majority of Americans have no skin in the game when it comes to our volunteer military and the battles fought on our behalf.


For example, if our country had a military draft in effect, or if we had to pay additional taxes to support war efforts (as we did for a few years during the Vietnam War), I suspect the war in Afghanistan would have ended years ago. As it is, we basically continue outsourcing our wars over perceived “imminent threats” to a physically and psychologically worn out volunteer military. Somehow, we need to build incentives to inspire an effective peace movement.

David Nelson


The writer is a Marine captain who served from 1971 to ’73.